Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) and Francis Ngannou (17-3 in MMA) spoke at a press conference in London, England to promote their clash. They are set to face each other in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28. The fight will be available as a pay-per-view (PPV) in the United States on ESPN+. TNT Sports Box Office will also distribute the event as a PPV in the UK.
Hear more on the fight from T.J. Rives and Dan Rafael on the Big Fight Weekend podcast below:
“I’m absolutely honored to be fighting Francis,” said Fury. “He’s going to be a very, very good fighting man. You can see that he’s massive. He’s in shape. He’s going to be a real challenge. It’s something different for me. I’m used to boxing boxers and boxing the head off of somebody. But fighting an MMA guy who comes in with a different style is going to be different.”
“It’s something that I didn’t see coming, even though my dream was always there,” said Ngannou. “I always hoped for it to happen some day. But I didn’t see it lay out this way as one of the biggest events of the world. This is not just a fight. We are going to open up Riyadh Season. So, it is a cultural event that we are fighting on. And we’ll just make this fight bigger and bigger. Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen, but what I do know for sure is that I’m going to be out there hunting for that guy’s head to take it off. I can guarantee that.”
“The fight [between Fury and Ngannou] will be a farce, contested between a clumsy novice who looks intimidating on the scales and a heavyweight fighter with the ability to dumbfound experienced, world class boxers.”
It is true that Fury is among the better boxing heavyweights in recent years, but facing Ngannou does nothing at all for the sport. Especially when there are more appealing fights to be fought. A fight against Oleksandr Usyk would crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. An Anthony Joshua clash would pit two of the most successful British heavyweights of the last decade against each other.
Given his latest comments on Ngannou and UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones, it seems Fury is content with taking fights that mean little in boxing. To be fair, those kind of fights are the ones that make him the most money. However, it does not hide the fact that these are farcical matchups.
Fury changes his mind about things fairly regularly, so there is always the chance that he moves on to an Usyk or Joshua clash after facing Ngannou. To circle back to Payne’s work, the clash with Ngannou feels like a waste of Fury’s peak. In the end, only Fury can decide whether he wants to take advantage of his peak and face the best of his generation or continue wasting it fighting the likes of Ngannou and Jones. For now, boxing fans will just have to put up with the Fury circus while it is in town.