Shortly after the news became public, former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (17-3 in MMA) spoke to TMZ Sports about his upcoming clash with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs). The bout, taking place on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is a co-promotion involving Top Rank Boxing, Queensberry Promotions, and Ngannou’s promotional banner, GIMIK Fight Promotions. The three companies will be collaborating with Riyadh Season, a festival held in the capital of Saudi Arabia that consists of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and cultural events.
At the Ngannou – Fury Press Conference, the MMA standout said, “Well, he has said a lot of things. He better just get ready for October 28th because if he’s not taking this seriously, I think he might get surprised and get some regrets for his life,” said Ngannou when on his thoughts on Fury’s comments. “I’m coming for all. This is my moment, this is my life, this is what I’ve been waiting for. The boxing dream I’ve been having since I was a kid, long time before I even discovered MMA, this is it.
Ngannou’s plan for Fury
Among the questions posed to Ngannou was one about his training camp. He provided details on how it was going and whether he would be doing anything different to prepare for Fury.
“I have a great team around me. I have people that I have chosen mostly based off the energy we keep on the team. And I think I’m going to keep the same team around for the same reason,” he said.
Currently, Ngannou trains at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts, a training organisation headed by former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture. His head coach is Eric Nicksick and Dewey Cooper, a former kickboxer and boxer, is another coach on the team.
“I think we need outside expertise. We need to move something around, make some changes because this is a new game for all of us. None of us has been prepared for something like this in the past. We gonna take as much help as needed to reinforce our team, but, the same team is staying,” he stressed.
Ngannou already has a few names in mind that he plans on seeking the advice of.
“I think getting some advice or some training from Mike Tyson would be good. I also think of somebody like Lennox Lewis, which could be good, I love his [Lewis’] boxing style, very basic, but very sharp, efficient, you know, one-two, all those stuff. Classic, but very good, I love stuff like that. So yes, one of those guys, we are definitely reaching out.”
Additionally, Ngannou spoke about how he sees the fight against Fury playing out.
“I have some knockout power, but, I mean it would be crazy if you walk to somebody like Tyson Fury just counting [on] knockout power. I’m going there to box. I’m going to walk into this fight as a boxer. And I’m impressed to see how people are counting me out of this and it also gets me excited. You know, one more thing that they keep doubting on me. And as usual, I might keep proving them wrong about this because I’m working there as a fighter. I’m not working there because yes, I have a strong punch. Yes, I can connect them. I’m working there to fight in case this fight goes to decision, I would still expect to win by decision.”
“Whatever the options are, I want to be prepared and win that fight because that will cement my position now as a boxer. Unlike just an MMA fighter who’s crossing over with the power. Like that’s only what I have, which is not true,” emphasized Ngannou.
Given that this will be Ngannou’s first foray into professional boxing, it is hard to see him give someone like Fury any trouble. Regardless, the fight is still on and fight fans can expect to hear a lot about it in the coming weeks and months.