Life is treating Francis Ngannou exceptionally well.
On Tuesday, the ex-UFC heavyweight champion stunned many by successfully securing the long-desired boxing superfight against Tyson Fury, the unbeaten WBC champion. These two heavyweight powerhouses are set to clash on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. According to Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s enduring representative, “The Predator” is about to experience a payday many in combat sports can only fantasize about.
“The earnings are so massive, he might drop it en route to the bank,” quipped Martin during The MMA Hour on Wednesday. “Ignore whatever the critics might be saying right now – I have. They’ll be proven wrong once again. This is a life-altering event, exactly what we had planned and envisioned, so we’re elated.”
Martin revealed that Ngannou is predicted to earn more for the Fury match than he would have made from the UFC’s final contract offer, which included a mega defense of his heavyweight title against Jon Jones.
When questioned if Ngannou’s earnings from his boxing debut would surpass the total from his previous 14 UFC fights, three of which were title fights, Martin confirmed it.
“Absolutely, and by a significant margin,” he stated.
“To earn this amount while remaining the champion, he would have had to face multiple bouts just to approximate this figure.”
Ngannou’s aspiration to box was a pivotal reason for his unprecedented departure from UFC while still holding the heavyweight title. UFC authorities refused to let the Cameroonian pursue a boxing payday while contracted. However, the Fury fight has long been on Ngannou’s agenda. Ngannou even made an unexpected appearance in the ring alongside Fury in April 2022 after Fury’s victory over Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium.
Ngannou is widely recognized as one of the most powerful knockout artists in MMA history. He seized the UFC heavyweight title in March 2021 with a vicious knockout of Stipe Miocic, then defended his title once, defeating Ciryl Gane on a torn ACL. Of Ngannou’s 12 UFC victories, 11 ended in knockouts, including wins over Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Curtis Blaydes (twice), and Junior dos Santos.
Fury is the top-ranked heavyweight in boxing, with significant wins over Deontay Wilder (twice), Wladimir Klitschko, Whyte, Derek Chisora (thrice), among others.
Martin disputed recent assertions from competing promoter Eddie Hearn on Wednesday, confirming that the Fury vs. Ngannou fight will adhere to conventional boxing rules, allowing knockdowns throughout ten three-minute rounds. While he’s unsure if the fight will technically be considered professional or an exhibition due to Ngannou’s absence from the WBC rankings, thereby making him ineligible for Fury’s heavyweight title, Martin suggested that progress is being made on this matter.
“Promoters will always try to devalue the opposition as much as they can, but this is a genuine fight,” asserted Martin. “We’re not here for a playful game; this is a real fight. We aim to engage in discussions with the WBC to get licensed. We might get a chance to put his [belt] on the line, but that’s up to his side. From our side, we plan on pushing for this to go on Fury’s professional record.”
“But let me make this clear,” Martin added, “this is a legitimate fight.”
This announcement about Fury follows Ngannou’s groundbreaking contract with PFL, which provides him with company equity, a position on the PFL board of directors, the title of chairman for PFL’s expansion into Africa, the liberty to secure his sponsors, and guarantees $2 million purses for each of Ngannou’s PFL opponents.
Martin confirmed that Ngannou is still planning to make his PFL debut in the first quarter of 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Francis Ngannou Tyson Fury Fight
Who is Francis Ngannou set to fight in his boxing debut?
Francis Ngannou is scheduled to fight undefeated WBC champion Tyson Fury in his boxing debut.
Where and when is the fight between Ngannou and Fury scheduled to take place?
The fight is scheduled to take place on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
What is significant about Ngannou’s payday for the Fury fight?
According to Ngannou’s representative, Marquel Martin, the earnings from this fight are so significant that they are more than what Ngannou would’ve earned throughout the life of the UFC’s final contract offer to him.
Who are some of the notable opponents Ngannou has defeated in the UFC?
Ngannou has defeated notable UFC opponents like Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Curtis Blaydes (twice), and Junior dos Santos.
When is Ngannou expected to make his Professional Fighters League (PFL) debut?
Ngannou is targeting the first quarter of 2024 for his PFL debut.