It’s probably fair to say the sport of boxing, the heavyweight division at least, went a little nuts after Francis Ngannou did what he did against reigning (but not defending) WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury.
Ngannou, in his pro boxing debut, decked Fury, he at times roughed Fury up quite badly, he at times outboxed Fury (!), he bruised Fury, and Ngannou appeared comfortable in taking anything that came back at him from Fury (including an illegal elbow). Now, Ngannou is the hottest fighter in boxing, and he has so many options it’s all we’ve been hearing about lately: Ngannou-Fury II, Ngannou-Anthony Joshua, Ngannou-Zhilei Zhang, and Ngannou-Deontay Wilder.
But there’s more; there is apparently real talk of the possibility of Ngannou and Wilder fighting each other in the cage, in an MMA fight!
This just might be the craziest idea out there as far as Ngannou’s red-hot future is concerned, but some early talks have taken place. Wilder – who is craving a big fight, be it with Joshua or someone else – said back in the summer that he was “serious” about him wanting to have two fights with Ngannou, one in the ring, the other in the cage. And now, on The MMA Hour, the fighter of the moment, Ngannou, said “we have spoken about that,” as in a fight with Wilder that would be fought under MMA rules.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Ngannou said of he and the former WBC heavyweight champ rumbling in the cage. “In fact, we have spoken about that. In fact, that has been in the discussion. So, that’s something that can potentially happen. Deontay Wilder for a couple of months, for a little while now, has been training MMA because there’s an option here. Nothing is set, but some things have been coming to my ear, to my attention, so that’s something that makes sense.”
But does a Wilder challenge of Ngannou, in the world of MMA, really make sense? In today’s world, it seems pretty much anything can happen, and while we’re still in shock over what Ngannou managed to do against Fury (in his boxing debut), maybe another shock is on the way courtesy of this crossover fight.
But would Wilder, a proven banger of the highest order in his own field, have any shot at all against the powerhouse from Nigeria if they fought MMA? Eddie Hearn, also speaking on The MMA Hour, was quick to write off Wilder’s chances when speaking about the possibility of this fight, with Hearn saying Ngannou was “snap” Wilder’s “skinny legs.” Maybe he would!
Still, nobody – as in absolutely nobody – gave Ngannou a shot going into the Fury fight, yet the 37 year old shocked the heck out of Fury and out of us. Would we be able to cope if we saw Wilder, in his MMA debut, shock the heck out of Ngannou! This is going too far, surely……?
That said, would you pay to watch Ngannou fight Wilder in the cage? You know you would.