What Tyson Fury wants; Tyson Fury usually gets.
The self-styled Gypsy King is a showman in the heavyweight boxing division, an entertainer as much as a fighter. He’s proven that he takes what he wants, not only by winning a world title but by dropping out of the ring altogether, before coming back to triumph again.
He dispatched Deontay Wilder in their trio of fights, and when he’s felt like it, he’s branched out into other entertainment areas, namely the WWE, where he appeared in a fight with Braun Strowman. It seems now he wants to go toe-to-toe with a fighter from another discipline, namely UFC’s heavy hitter Francis Ngannou.
Fury is currently awaiting his mandatory meeting with Dillian Whyte and may even have to squeeze Anthony Joshua in before any bout with Ngannou. Still, the Morecambe-based brawler does seem keen on clashing with the UFC star. It could be a crossover bout, with Fury offering a boxing fight with MMA gloves, something countered by his intended opponent, who suggests an MMA fight with boxing gloves.
Whatever the format, Fury is adamant he will have the bout. “I am going to fight Francis Ngannou in Las Vegas next year – in March or February,” he is reported as saying by Sport Bible. “There have been no talks this year because I have got some boxing to do, but next year we can have some crazy fights. It’s a massive fight.”
Indeed, drawn by the potential revenue in the crossover, Fury added, “I believe it breaks all pay-per-view records in the United States. Two heavyweight champions going head-to-head.”
Of course, there’s every chance Fury won’t be champion by that time, although he is the favourite to win bouts against both Joshua and Whyte. In the latest odds from Ladbrokes, he is the hot favourite to defeat Joshua, in a bout that will only happen if his fellow Brit defeats Oleksandr Usyk. However, Fury is favourite to win that bout too, and the overwhelming favourite to beat Whyte. Whatever path the current champion takes to Ngannou, it does look likely he’ll arrive there with some gold around his waist.
As for the UFC star, he has his own path to walk before arriving in Vegas. He is the reigning heavyweight champion in UFC, but he is embroiled in a contract dispute with the promotion. Recently, Dana White didn’t put the belt on the Cameroonian following his unanimous decision against Ciryl Gane, although he later told MMA Fighting he had dinner with the champion after the UFC 270 win.
Ngannou is now officially out of contract, as his win marked the last fight of his five-year deal, although he does owe the promotion another fight as part of a clause extension. However, the contract row has cost him $7m (₹527m), a huge sum. He could look to recoup a good portion of that with a headline bout against Fury, one likely to make headlines worldwide.
If the two do meet, it won’t be the first time a boxer and UFC star have come together in a mega-money bout. In 2017, Floyd Mayweather met Conor McGregor in the infamous Money Fight, earning the boxer $100m (₹7.5bn). McGregor, defeated in the tenth round of the bout, pocketed $30m (₹2.2bn), and a prize purse of similar magnitude could be expected for Ngannou and Fury.
Both fighters have a journey to make before any possible bout, but there’s enough desire to make it happen, meaning fight fans can feast their eyes on something other than a second-rate meet between a YouTube star and a chosen patsy.
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