Tyson Fury is BACK! But is it the fight we all wanted?
Bovada welcomes back our guest pundit, Natasha Turkington. This week, Natasha weighs in on Fury vs Ngannou. You can follow Natasha on Twitter at @natashaturk.
I do not believe I am on my own amongst boxing fans when I say the wait for a Tyson Fury fight being announced had started to become boring. Well, the wait is over, a Tyson Fury fight has finally been announced, and guess what, I am still bored.
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Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury will return to the ring later this year when he faces former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in a historic crossover exhibition bout.
The Gypsy King has teased at an MMA showdown for some time. Moments after his knockout of Dillian Whyte in back in April 2022 in London, Fury invited Ngannou into the ring to talk up the then-UFC champ as his next challenger. On the night there were 94,000 well-targeted potential customers right there at Wembley Stadium and a massive pay-per-view audience at home listening to Fury’s sales pitch.
Why Ngannou, though?
It is indisputable that in a boxing ring Tyson Fury, the undefeated WBC and lineal world champion, would be levels above an MMA fighter who has never competed professionally as a boxer. But by eyeing each other as boxing ring dancing partners, the two heavyweight champions are simply following a trend. Combat sports, especially boxing, are currently deeply entrenched in this new era of cringe inducing events for mega bucks money.
After the highly anticipated Anthony Joshua fight fell apart, Fury was expected to take on Oleksandr Usyk this year, but failed negotiations led to the collapse of the proposed undisputed title clash, leaving both men without an opponent. Usyk has since moved on and will make a mandatory defence of his unified title next month, as he takes on Daniel Dubois in Poland.
Meanwhile, Fury attempted to do the same, but once again, his team could not agree terms with any of the recognised title contenders, instead opting for Ngannou.
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Unsurprisingly, some big names from world boxing have weighed on the controversial announcement, former WBC cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew was quoted:
“It’s a freak show, not a boxing match. This guy is just a big, huge, strong unit, but there are loads of them in the local pubs every Friday and Saturday night. I’m not going to lie, I’m going to watch it, I’m intrigued. Put this into context, this man is having his first ever professional boxing match of his life, and he is fighting the heavyweight champion of the world. Make no mistake, if any boxer was to try and get in an Octagon or a cage with Francis Ngannou, then he would absolutely tear them apart, and I am pretty sure that he is capable of tearing hands or feet or any limb off your body, he is that strong. It’s just that mixed martial arts and boxing are two completely different sports.”
Terence Crawford agrees with Bellew, when asked at a recent solo press conference how much of a chance he gave Ngannou of beating Fury, he answered with one word and a shrug – “Zero.”
Matchroom Boxing boss, Eddie Hearn, has branded the fight “a circus, not real and terrible for boxing.”
Reports coming out of Fury’s camp suggest he is very much embarking on the clash as very real, calling upon No. 5 ranked UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall to help him prepare.
The place – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The date – October 28th. Will you be watching? Who do you think will win.