There was a lot of movement on the Ngannou/Fury front this weekend, not from a formal standpoint but certainly in terms of hype and promotion.
On Saturday, Tyson Fury turned in another stellar performance when he earned the TKO victory over Dillian Whyte in front of over 90,000 people in Wembley Stadium. To make the occasion even more memorable, Fury invited Ngannou into the ring during his post-fight interview where he allowed the world to hear him challenge “The Predator” to a scrap.
“Before we go, I want to bring in Francis Ngannou,” Fury said. “Francis! Come here. ESPN! I’m the boxing heavyweight champion, (he’s the) UFC heavyweight champion. He’s in great shape; look at the muscles on him.”
Fury would later question a perplexed Ngannou about the size of his manhood.
“Have you got a big cory?” Fury inquired.
As has been the case in the media for several months now, Ngannou reciprocated Fury’s interest in a fight, stating that we would soon find out “who is the baddest motherfucker on the planet.”
Fury Appears To Confirm Retirement Reports
After the fight, Fury would all but confirm his plans of retiring from professional boxing so that he can set his sights on more WWE appearances and exhibitions like the potential bout against Ngannou.
“You’re gonna see me in exhibitions, WWE, movies,” Fury said. “Ngannou’s on that list. If I fight again it’ll be in exhibition fights only, wrestling matches, stuff like that. Fun and entertaining, stuff that isn’t nerve-wracking, stuff that doesn’t keep you up at night, stuff that’s not gonna get you severe injuries.
“There will always be somebody else, and there will always be somebody else to fight,
Fury continued about a potential fight against the winner of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. “There’s plenty of good heavyweights coming up and time for them to have their time in the sun. And me, this old, bald, fat guy — we’re out. I’ve done enough, I’m very happy with who I am, where I am, what I’ve done. Very, very happy with my career” (h/t badlefthook.com).
Team Ngannou Hops On The Weekend Wave
If his victory over Whyte really was the curtain call for Fury’s pro boxing career, that made his moment with Ngannou in the ring all the more historic. And the UFC heavyweight champ’s manager, Marquel Martin, took the time to express his gratitude to “The Gypsy King” for sharing that special moment with his client.
“Grateful we were able to witness history tonight at Wembley. The energy in that place was indescribable. And to see that Tyson would share his moment with Francis in the spur of the moment speaks to his character and his respect for Francis as another Heavyweight Champion. I was just proud to see my brother standing there after all he has been through. Just honored. Massive congrats to Tyson and his team. All class, all respect.“
Also following the Fury/Whyte event, Ngannou’s coach Dewey Cooper pitched to The Schmo a specific ruleset for the hypothetical Ngannou/Fury bout.
Cooper suggested that the fight be a boxing bout with 8 oz. MMA gloves with clinching and “dirty boxing” allowed. And finally, he suggested that the fight take place in a cage instead of a boxing ring.
“And we’ll see if Tyson has that same energy, if he’s willing to exchange punches with a power-puncher like Francis Ngannou with those little gloves on,” Cooper said.
Ngannou and Fury have already expressed mutual interest in boxing one another with MMA gloves, but the notion of the fight happening in a cage and with an emphasis on clinching/dirty boxing appears to be new suggestions that Cooper will no doubt pitch to his heavyweight pupil.
Nevertheless, all of the above updates may be for naught if Dana White & the UFC remain disinterested in facilitating the fight. That is, of course, unless either Ngannou and the UFC are able to come to a new agreement during their contract talks that permits Ngannou to take the fight or Ngannou sits out until the end of the year when his champion’s clause would reportedly expire, thus making him a free agent.
Do you think we will ever see Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou?