Paulie Malignaggi expects Fury to attack Ngannou to try and stop him early

By Jeff Sorby - 10/26/2023 - Comments

Paulie Malignaggi is predicting that Tyson Fury will go on the attack immediately on Saturday night, looking to knock out Francis Nganou early like he did in his second fight against Deontay Wilder.

The 35-year-old Fury isn’t as young, and he doesn’t look like he’s in the kind of shape for this fight with Ngannou as he was when he fought Wilder for the second time in 2020.

Tyson looked like an offensive NFL lineman for that fight, and he’d done a good job of adding muscle while training down fat. For this fight on Saturday, Fury looks like he’s lost a lot of muscle, and he’s carrying a lot of fat around his midsection.

“Not only is this going to keep going, this is not new. We’ve seen crossover fights. We just haven’t had MMA until recent years. When Ali fought the wrestler [Antonio Inoki] in Japan [in June 1976], so it’s nothing new,” said Chris Algieri to ProBox TV about Saturday’s fight between Francis Ngannou & Tyson Fury, ‘Battle of the Baddest’ event in Saudi Arabia.

Physically, he’s not the fighter that defeated Wilder by a seventh round knockout in 2020 or stopped him in eleventh round in their trilogy match in 2021. You can tell that Fury has been enjoying the millions since last year, and that could cost him on Saturday if he’s not able to get to Ngannou early to KO him.

The longer this fight lasts, the more chances there are for Ngannou to land one of his big shots on Fury’s chin to knock him out.

“Tyson Fury, he’s going to carry him for a couple of rounds. He’s an ever-showman,” said Algieri. “He’s going to go out there and make a fight of it. Mayweather did it as well. He carried McGregor. I don’t care what anybody says, especially MMA fans, in terms of how that fight went.

Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) will have his unbeaten record on the line against the dangerous puncher Ngannou but not his WBC title in this sanctioned ‘Battle of the Baddest’ event on Saturday, October 28th on ESPN+ PPV beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I think Tyson is going to do the same thing. I don’t think he’s going to carry him quite as long. I don’t think we’re going to see the tenth round, but Tyson is going to make a show of it. He’s already doing it with the workouts, but he’s going to stop Ngannou, he’s going to break him down and knock him out,” said Algieri.

“This isn’t going anywhere; there’s still interest. There’s still time, especially at heavyweight. People like seeing big athletes. The heavyweight division has always been the glamour division.

“Now that we have a rival fight sport, it’s not like kickboxing is ever popular enough to where we can have a crossover fight, but MMA is. These heavyweight fighters that are knocking guys out, guys like Ngannou, from a casual fan perspective, why would we not put these guys in the ring?

“He punches people and knocks them out. It’s boxing, there’s punching. Boxing is encompassed inside what MMA training is. So, why would it not make sense? So, I think we’re going to see more of this in the future, and this is nothing new,” said Algieri about Saturday’s Fury vs. Ngannou fight.

“This is not new. When Mike Tyson was fighting, there was the Bob Sapp conversation,” said Paulie Malignaggi. “In this generation, we had Mayweather & McGregor, a bonafide super-selling fight despite the joke that it was.

“We have a dumb enough fan base from MMA that will keep buying them. These people will buy a spelling bee if MMA fighters are involved, so it’s all good. They’ll keep selling.

“The last point that must be made is the Saudi money. The Middle East likes these types of sideshows. They buy the Youtubers; they buy these crossover types of fights. The Middle East money will continue to buy these flights,” said Malignaggi.

“Mayweather carried McGregor. He’s not a guy that comes forward that much. Mayweather also wasn’t cutting off the ring. When I spoke to Mayweather after the fight, ‘Why didn’t you cut the ring off?’ ‘No, I had to let him last.’ So, I had to keep circling and following him around until he broke down.’

“I think Fury does the opposite. I think Fury is going to go straight to Ngannou and try to stop him because you back up a puncher. Ngannou is a known puncher, and he’s a big guy as well. I know McGregor was a known puncher, but he was backed up as well. You got to back up a puncher. I think Fury is going to take a page out of the Wilder second fight,” said Malignaggi.

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