By Craig Daly: Francis Ngannou says he’ll be taking a tune-up in boxing and then taking on one of the big names, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, or Tyson Fury.
The 36-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou says he’ll take at least one tune-up in boxing before fighting Joshua, Wilder, or Fury. This will likely be a one-off for Ngannou once he gets his big payday fight against one of those guys. He’ll lose and then never fight again in boxing.
Ngannou, 6’4″, isn’t saying the names he’s looking at for his tune-up, but it’s likely that it won’t be a top-tier fighter or anyone with high-level experience.
You can argue that this is more about Ngannou making a ton of money in a fight that would be similar to how former UFC star Conor McGregor took on Floyd Mayweather Jr in a boxing match in his pro debut and was knocked out in the tenth round of a lackluster, one-sided fight in August 2017. The event brought in a massive 4.3 million PPV buys, earning Mayweather $280 million and McGregor $130 million.
It’s unlikely Ngannou can make anywhere near the same amount of dough that McGregor made because Joshua, Fury & Wilder aren’t on the level that Mayweather was back in 2017 in terms of popularity.
“I’ve always dreamed of getting Tyson Fury. It seems like he’s not quite on the level right now. Deontay Wilder, me and my team have been going back and forth. We didn’t get there because of a potential fight with AJ [and Wilder] in December, but we were still aligned for a potential fight after that,” said Francis Ngannou to the DAZN about his plans to fight one of the big names in boxing.
“My goal is to have a potential tune-up fight this year, at least one, before next year. That’s the vision for boxing. We’ve been working. My team engaged in some discussions with the Money Team Promotions [also known as Mayweather Promotions] regarding boxing, and we’re going to see about that.
“We’re definitely coming out with a plan, we have a plan, and we are coming out very soon,” said Ngannou.
Ngannou must face a non-punching fighter in his tune-up because if the fighter can take him past the first four rounds, the 36-year-old could gas out and get stopped. Boxing is a completely different sport from MMA.
There has yet to be one former MMA guy that has made a mark in boxing, and at Ngannou’s advanced age, he’s not likely to be the first. Ngannou can make a huge amount of money in a circus-like event against Joshua, Wilder, or Fury, but he’ll likely get destroyed, and that’ll be thee end of his boxing.