Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is having one hell of a year after signing his cushy new deal with the PFL, as well as securing his highly-anticipated boxing match against WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. What is one extra thing that Ngannou thinks would make a nice cherry on top of everything? Getting the help of boxing legend Mike Tyson to help him add ‘defeated Tyson Fury’ to his resume.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Ngannou, who will be facing off against the Englishman in Saudi Arabia on October 28th, said that while this will certainly be a fight he needs to prepare for, he is certain he’ll have his fists held up as winner at the end of day.
“He’s said a lot of things,” Ngannou said, referencing some predictable smack-talk from Fury. “He better just get ready for October 28th, because if he’s not taking this serious, I think he might get surprised and get some regret for his life. I’m coming for all, this is my moment.”
While fans from the world of boxing and MMA are excited to see these two industry titans clash, Ngannou is obviously the underdog going in as he has no amateur or professional boxing experience, despite being known as one of the best strikers during his time in the UFC.
Francis Ngannou weighs in on the UFC offering Tyson Fury a "hybrid fight against Jon Jones 👀
“That was never an idea when I was in the UFC. Now that I’m not in the UFC, I think everything is all about how to take down Ngannou. But Ngannou stands up." pic.twitter.com/gimHHGhsEC
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) June 17, 2023
So who did he bring up as a name to grant him some expert tips on how to take on the most ferocious heavyweights of our time? None other than Iron Mike Tyson.
“I think getting some advice or some training from Mike Tyson would be good,” said Ngannou. “I also think of somebody like Lennox Lewis who could be good. I love his boxing style, very basic but very sharp and efficient. One-two [punches], all that stuff, classic but very good.”
Tyson responded to press questions regarding Ngannou’s praise of the former champion, and expressed he’d at least be willing to consider it if approached.
“I’d like to do that, that’d be cool,” said Tyson. “I’d like that, yeah, I’d like that.
“Fury, he punches long. So, when he punches long, you got those short punches inside. When he throws around, watch—you gotta be ready. Boom, hard punch to the body.”
If Mike Tyson’s official presence is added to this already highly anticipated fight, it could be the event of the year, especially since this won’t be some ordinary Floyd Mayweather-type of exhibition fight the boxing world has become so used to.
According to sports writer Chuck Mindenhall at The Ringer, “Fury-Ngannou won’t be an ‘exhibition,’ as promoter Eddie Hearn suggested. It will be an official fight on record, even if no belts are on the line.
“Knockouts are in play, which everyone knows are Ngannou’s only path to victory. Francis will arrive in Riyadh with nothing more than the proverbial puncher’s chance and, as his spiritual counterpart Nate Diaz would say, a pocket full of cash.”
“I’m going there to box. I’m going to walk into this fight as a boxer,” said Fury in a separate interview with TMZ. “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.”
So the biggest question remains; will you be watching on October 28th? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.