After more than a year of public posturing between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury regarding a potential boxing match, the discussions seemed to quiet down when Ngannou became a free agent earlier this year. Fury, instead, focused on a title unification match with Oleksandr Usyk, while Ngannou appeared to be closing in on a fight against Deontay Wilder.
To everyone’s surprise, news broke last week that Ngannou and Fury would indeed face each other in a boxing match on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. According to Ngannou, the announcement felt sudden because the negotiations unfolded rapidly.
“The process began about a month ago, around five weeks ago,” Ngannou explained on The MMA Hour. “Then I received a call from a representative in Saudi, and he said, ‘They want to do this fight. Let’s meet in New York.’ Initially, I wasn’t overly excited. I thought, ‘Okay, let’s find out what’s going on.’ … We met in New York, started talking to people, and had discussions.
“It happened quickly. The negotiations lasted less than two weeks, with some back and forth.”
There have been conflicting reports about specific details of the fight, but what is currently confirmed is that the bout will consist of 10 rounds and follow traditional boxing rules. There will be no four-ounce gloves or MMA-related stipulations as previously speculated.
Ngannou confirmed MMA Hook’s report that the match is a recognized professional bout that will be recorded on both fighters’ records. However, Fury’s WBC heavyweight title will not be at stake.
“It’s a legitimate fight,” Ngannou stated. “It’s going to be a fight. The only difference is that there won’t be a title on the line. But it’s a real fight, and it will be recorded in our records.
“The title won’t be at stake. That’s a separate discussion that involves the WBC. If we had to wait for all the parties to get involved to make this fight happen, it wouldn’t have materialized quickly. So we prioritized making the fight happen first. There are no guarantees if there will be a title or not. We can have that discussion going forward. But what matters to me is the fight itself. I pursued the fight, not the title. So personally, nothing changes for me.
“I don’t even care. I just want the fight. I got the fight. On October 28, I will give my all. I will bring everything into that ring and leave it all there. That will be my victory.”
Whether the title is up for grabs or not may ultimately be inconsequential. Ngannou is considered a significant underdog in betting odds against Fury, and it’s justified given Fury’s reputation as one of the top boxers of his generation and the current leading heavyweight. This will mark Ngannou’s first professional boxing match. Ngannou himself acknowledges why many in the boxing community are skeptical about the matchup.
“In this case, I won’t say it’s haters,” Ngannou said. “I believe they are right. On the other side, they have the top athlete in the sport, while on my side, they have this guy who they’ve never seen in a boxing match. Some boxing fans may not have even watched my fights. So, naturally, they ask, ‘What’s going on? Who is this guy?’ It makes sense, and I would have the same questions.
“Of course, some people in the boxing world will be upset because they expected to be in line and reach the top position. Then there’s this guy who climbs a different tree and suddenly jumps to the top of the tree they wanted to climb. ‘He didn’t even wait in line!’ So, understandably, it frustrates them.”
Regardless, come October, Ngannou intends to frustrate Fury as well. While many give Ngannou only a slim chance of causing an upset with a knockout punch, the lineal heavyweight champion in MMA asserts that he’s preparing for all possibilities in the ring.
“The fight can unfold in various ways, but I think he’ll try to maintain distance and possibly aim for a decision victory,” Ngannou shared. “I understand that many people believe I only have a chance if I connect randomly with a powerful punch. However, I’m also working on strategies in case the fight goes to a decision. I’ll have to close the distance since he’s skilled at controlling it. I’ll relentlessly try to break that distance and expose myself to get inside.
“It’s a tough challenge, but I’m determined to win, even if it comes down to a decision. I won’t give him space to make himself comfortable. He’s at his best when he’s relaxed and in control. But let’s see how he reacts under pressure, not just from me attempting to land a big punch, but from consistent aggression. That will be my approach.”
Even if Ngannou’s plans don’t pan out, and he ends up being defeated by Fury, it doesn’t matter to him because merely securing the fight is already a victory.
“I remained patient and kept my silence, knowing that actions speak louder than words,” Ngannou declared. “The result is making all the noise, and in the end, I come out as the winner.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about boxing match
Q: How did the boxing match between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury come together?
A: The match came together quickly after negotiations that took place over a period of about one month. Ngannou received a call from a representative in Saudi Arabia expressing interest in the fight, leading to meetings in New York and swift negotiations that lasted less than two weeks.
Q: Will the boxing match be a title fight?
A: No, the match will not be for a title. While it is a recognized professional matchup that will go on both fighters’ records, Fury’s WBC heavyweight title will not be at stake. Discussions about a title would involve multiple parties and could have delayed the fight, so the focus was on making the fight happen first.
Q: Why are some people skeptical about the matchup?
A: Many boxing fans are skeptical because Ngannou is relatively new to professional boxing, while Fury is regarded as one of the best boxers of his generation. Some in the boxing world may also be frustrated because they expected to be in line for a matchup with Fury and feel that Ngannou “jumped the line.”
Q: How does Ngannou plan to approach the fight against Fury?
A: Ngannou anticipates that Fury will try to maintain distance and potentially aim for a decision victory. Ngannou is preparing for different scenarios, including strategies to close the distance and pressure Fury. He aims to disrupt Fury’s comfort and test his reaction under consistent aggression.
Q: What does Ngannou consider a victory in this fight?
A: For Ngannou, the victory is already secured by booking the fight itself. He states that regardless of the outcome, he has already won by staying patient and letting the result speak for itself. His focus is on giving his all in the fight and leaving everything in the ring.
More about boxing match
- Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury to fight in a boxing match
- Details about the Ngannou vs. Fury boxing match
- Tyson Fury’s WBC heavyweight title not at stake in the match
- Francis Ngannou’s approach and expectations for the fight
- Ngannou’s perspective on the skepticism surrounding the matchup
- Ngannou’s determination and mindset going into the fight