Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou insists his next step, his next fight “has to be boxing.” Speaking with ESPN yesterday, Ngannou, who has been calling for a massive fight with a heavyweight boxing star for some months now, said he is “considering everybody” as far as who he may make his boxing debut against. However, in terms of the most progressive talks, Ngannou said that he and his team have spoken more so with Deontay Wilder than any other fighter and his team.
Ngannou says he would love to fight Wilder in Africa, close to the 50th anniversary of the epic, never to be forgotten “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Ngannou says he could possibly fight Wilder twice.
“I’m considering everybody [as an opponent in the boxing ring]. I talked to Eddie Hearn about Anthony Joshua, I don’t know what’s going to happen. The most that we have spoken with is Deontay Wilder’s team. We’ve been having some exchanges, basically coming to some sort of verbal agreement. We want two fights. Maybe one of those fights in Africa, maybe two of those fights in Africa. Which would be massive, which would be great. I think August next year is the 50th anniversary of ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ and I think that would be an opportunity to do something massive in Africa. We are looking at something around that timeline for the potential second fight.”
Ali-Foreman actually took place in October of 1974, of course, but despite this slip, Ngannou has succeeded in getting fight fans intrigued, if not flat-out excited, about his idea for a “Rumble II.” Wilder spoke about “big and exciting plans” being afoot when he was out in Saudi Arabia recently, with the former WBC heavyweight champ also saying how he was unable to go into detail until things were “fully in place.”
Was it the fight, or fights, with Ngannou that Wilder was alluding to? Maybe, but Wilder seemed to be strongly suggesting he himself would be fighting out in Saudi Arabia soon.
We will see what happens. But Ngannou WILL fight a big-name boxer sooner rather than later. Ngannou’s dream will happen. Whether it turns out to be a dream come true or a nightmare for the Nigerian powerhouse, only time will tell. Indeed, if Ngannou did fight Wilder, would there be any need for a rematch?