How Will Boxing Match Between Fury and Ngannou Play Out?


Jul 12, 2023

The combat sports world is buzzing with anticipation as Tyson Fury, one of the most dominant heavyweight boxers of our time, is set to face off against Francis Ngannou, the fearsome former UFC heavyweight champion turned PFL superstar. This cross-sport matchup echoes the 2017 encounter between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, and the implications could be similarly game-changing.

Let’s get one thing straight: when the best boxer squares off against the best MMA fighter under boxing rules, odds typically lean toward the boxer. If the fight occurred under MMA rules, then the MMA fighter would be favored. This dynamic has remained consistent since the dawn of these two sports.

Still, fighters like Ngannou, who’ve had dreams of testing their skills in the boxing ring, continue to chase this challenge. Ngannou has long expressed his desire for such a match – a dream he’s held since he left Africa for France. While many doubt his chances, let’s not overlook that Ngannou has already scored a significant victory.

Remember, Ngannou originally wanted to pursue a boxing crossover while he was with UFC, but Dana White declined. Following failed negotiations with UFC, Ngannou signed on with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where he received a green light to box. This move seemed all the more fortuitous when Dana White made an offer to Fury to fight Jon Jones. However, despite the potential Jones vs. Fury match, it was Ngannou who ultimately landed the fight with Fury.

This scenario is undoubtedly a win-win for Ngannou. He evaded a potentially grueling encounter with Jon Jones, secured a higher payout from the PFL, and finally got the boxing match he desired – seemingly poaching it from under Dana White’s nose.

Although the exact payout for Ngannou has yet to be confirmed, some speculate it could be around $30 million – a sum that eclipses what he previously made under UFC. Of course, this figure is tentative and depends on various factors, including pay-per-view revenues and other undisclosed stipulations.

The fight is slated to follow boxing rules and will occur in a boxing ring in Saudi Arabia at the end of October. Broadcasting details are still under wraps, but fans can expect a thrilling show regardless of the platform.

As for Ngannou’s chances against Fury, many believe he stands a better chance than Jon Jones would have. Jones, known for his unconventional MMA striking style, may not have matched up as well against Fury. Ngannou, however, brings raw power with his punches – a feature that could make this bout eerily similar to Fury’s duels with Deontay Wilder.

Ngannou may still be the underdog, but the fact that this fight is happening signals a significant shift in combat sports. Whether he emerges victorious or suffers a knockout, Ngannou’s cross-disciplinary journey is already an incredible feat in and of itself. No matter the outcome, this clash between Fury and Ngannou promises to be a spectacle that combat sports fans won’t want to miss.

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Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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