The cynics, and there may be many, somewhat justifiably, will say “neither,” in response to the question asked in the above article headline. And maybe the thoughts former UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou’s harbours about taking on an elite heavyweight boxer will eventually fizzle out, with the giant from Nigeria not fighting any top names from the Sweet Science.
It could be that Ngannou gets beaten in a “warm-up,” or, “welcome to the sport” type fight. But Ngannou WILL have at least one boxing match. You can bet on it. There is way too much money at stake for it not to happen. Tyson Fury we know is interested, with the reigning WBC heavyweight champ recently saying how, if the Oleksandr Usyk fight is not done and soon, Ngannou will be his replacement foe. It now seems the heavyweight unification clash between Fury and Usyk is heading to an April 29th date (see below article). Still, don’t count out the idea of Fury electing to face Ngannou after he’s fought Usyk; if Ngannou is still available.
And Eddie Hearn has said he would like to see his guy Anthony Joshua fight Ngannou in what would be a massive event. So Ngannou is in demand, he has options. He is also a big name in combat sports. Of the two British stars, Fury and AJ, who would you most like to see Ngannou fight, and who would the former MMA star have the better chance of being competitive with (let’s not go as far as asking which of the two accomplished pro boxers Ngannou would have the better chance of defeating; for short of one of the biggest, most shocking ‘lucky punches’ ever, this ain’t happening).
Again, you may answer “neither” to the question, which of the two British stars would you most like to see Ngannou fight. But like it or not, there seems to be no way Ngannou will walk away from his dream (it could prove to be a nightmare) of sharing a ring with an elite boxer. The big payday that would be there to be collected by whoever gets to Ngannou first, be it Fury or be it Joshua, will of course prove hard to resist.
There are, there have been, and there will likely continue be too many hybrid/crossover fights going down, and the purists don’t like it one bit. But isn’t there some genuine intrigue with Ngannou, a man-mountain who has raw punching power? Ngannou against a Fury or a Joshua wouldn’t be anything like as big as Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor, but it wouldn’t be anything like as big a dud as Randy Couture-James Toney.
In a boxing ring, under boxing rules, Ngannou would have the proverbial puncher’s chance. And that will be enough for either fight to sell. And despite what you may say now, you WILL tune in when one of these fights happens!