Boxing Collides with MMA…again! Fury vs Ngannou Fight Preview
Bovada welcomes guest writer, Natasha Turkington, to weigh in (yet again!) on Fury vs Ngannou. Follow Natasha on Twitter at @natashaturk.
Love it or hate it, ‘crossover’ combat sport looks here to stay and this Saturday, October 28th, fans will get to witness two giants (quite literally giants too) go head-to-head in a blockbuster clash set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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Fury vs. Ngannou – dubbed “The Battle of the Baddest”, brings the reigning WBC heavyweight champion against the lineal UFC heavyweight champion to the boxing ring.
Contrary to speculation when the fight was rumoured to be announced, this heavyweight bout is not an exhibition fight and will be held in a regulation ring while being overseen by the commission, meaning it will be considered a professional boxing match. Both fighters can knock down or knock out their opponent. However, it is not confirmed whether the fight result will be put on their official records (sounds a bit exhibition-y to me); But there are boxing odds with Fury listed as the heavy favorite.
Fury fans will be happy to hear his WBC heavyweight title will not be on the line, but a special belt (exhibition-y, again) has been created and will be awarded to the winner.
Does Ngannou stand a chance?
But just as Ngannou remains undaunted by Fury’s experience, Fury is undaunted by the power the MMA star has displayed in the cage.
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Ngannou is generally hailed as one of the most fearsome knockout artists in MMA history. 10 of his 12 UFC wins came by way of knockouts, including devastating finishes of Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes (x2), Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Stipe Miocic, the last of which earned Ngannou the UFC heavyweight title in March 2021.
Fury committed to a 12-week training camp to prepare for Ngannou, which is double the length of the camps he claimed to have put in for more decorated boxing opposition in the past. With a record of 33-0-1 with 24 knockouts, Fury has proven himself to be perhaps the best active heavyweight boxer on the planet.
If there is anyone in the world of boxing who could provide Ngannou with that lethal element needed to overcome a colossus such as Tyson Fury it is his namesake, Mike Tyson.
Francis Ngannou has worked periodically with “Iron” Mike ahead of Saturday’s fight and will be present in his corner on the night. Some wondered if Fury would be uncomfortable with Tyson coaching his opponent. After all, Fury was named after the legendary fighter for his relentless fighting spirit as a premature baby. Fury insists he is simply happy to be even sharing the ring with a living legend such as Tyson.
For us purist boxing fans, we will be hoping for a straightforward night for Tyson Fury so we can put this event behind us and focus attention on the huge fight announced for December 2023.
World Champions Fury and Oleksandr Usyk agreed a mega deal in October for a historic undisputed heavyweight fight.
But, in the meantime, can a monster of a UFC fighter actually beat one of the best boxers on the planet? I doubt it, but this is the fight game. Anything can happen.