Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn reveals that he had a discussion with Francis Ngannou, and he’s interested in signing him and matching him against Anthony Joshua.
Ngannou has already mentioned wanting to fight Joshua and Tyson Fury. In what some fans see as Ngannous just looking to make some quick money, he’s not interested in working his way to the top names the way it’s traditionally done.
He just wants to fight the big names, which reeks of someone just looking to make money and then disappearing once they’re destroyed.
Hearn feels that a fight between the former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) and former UFC heavyweight champ Ngannou is “one of the biggest fights” out there.
Ngannou has never boxed before, and it would be a risky proposition for Hearn to sign him for more than one fight because he could get exposed right off the bat, even against journeymen-level opposition.
Matching Ngannou against Joshua in what would be the pro debut for the 34-year-old former UFC star would crazy, but we saw Floyd Mayweather Jr make massive money doing something similar when he fought Conor McGregor in 2017 in a boxing match in his pro debut in a fight that the Nevada State Athletic Commission surprisingly sanctioned as counting as a professional fight.
Mayweather stopped McGregor in the tenth round, and the former MMA star has never boxed since.
If it’s just about a cash-grab situation, Hearn can certainly sign Ngannou and throw him in there with Joshua to get destroyed quickly, but it would be wise for it to be a one-fight contract.
If Ngannou gets blown out by Joshua, Hearn would be stuck with him, and it would be embarrassing if he continued to lose. Ngannou is about to turn 35, and that’s ancient for someone starting out boxing for the first time and wanting to take on the top guys.
“We would love to be involved in his career. The Anthony Joshua fight is probably one of the biggest fights that can be made across any kind of sport. Obviously, the Tyson Fury fight is there for him as well,” said Eddie Hearn to Ariel Helwani’s podcast.
“I don’t want to talk too much about what was said. You can have a conversation more productively than you can with an agent or a lawyer,” said Hearn about his conversation with the 34-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou.
“I reached out to Francis and said, ‘I just want to know. I’m getting all these approaches with people.’ ‘I represent Francisco Ngannou.’ ‘Just tell me who I need to speak to,’ and the answer was, ‘Me.’ I really like that.
“He has a new ocean to navigate, which is a lot more rocky in that he’s in the wild west of boxing, and I feel he wants to build a team of people around him that can make sure they successfully navigate that ocean and maximize his potential,” said Hearn.