MMA fighting

Francis Ngannou confident he can defy the odds and knock out Tyson Fury: ‘It’s not easy, but possible’

Francis Ngannou remains confident that he will fight Tyson Fury, and when he does, he plans to shock the world.

Last weekend, Fury maintained his unbeaten professional boxing record with a sensational sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in England. After the fight, Fury doubled down on his statement that he would retire from professional boxing, but admitted he was still interested in an exhibition fight with Ngannou, even bringing Ngannou into the ring with him to promote a future ” clash of the titans”. .” It was something Ngannou, who sat at ringside during the event, hadn’t anticipated, but something he says shows how serious both men are about making the superfight happen. .

“I was a little surprised to be honest,” Ngannou told Ariel Helwani on MMA hour. “I didn’t know that was what he was going to do. I thought he might say something but not get me in the ring…

“I don’t know how close it is, but it’s very clear that this fight is going to happen because we both want this fight. We respect each other as you can see. The guy just deserved the moment, he was the man of the night, he could have stood there and been cocky and said “Oh I’m this, I’m that” but he called me to the ring and said spoken very respectfully as champion. And I respect him too. So I think it will happen. It’s just a matter of our promotions and the contract situation and everything, but we’re going to work this all out at some point, probably next year, and that fight is going to happen.

Ngannou and Fury have been in a super fight for months now, with Ngannou’s contract situation remaining the last big hurdle to such a matchup. So far the UFC has seemed cool about allowing Ngannou to box while still competing in the organization, unfortunately for them the ball is mostly in Ngannou’s court. Ngannou fought out his UFC contract in January, beating Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 to retain his heavyweight title, and although the victory activated the champion clause in his contract, in December the heavyweight champion will be free. to pursue his interests. While he waits, Ngannou has made it clear that he would prefer to re-sign with the UFC and have them help promote the fight, but if they refuse, ultimately there is nothing the UFC can do about it. prevent him from fighting Fury.

“My contractual situation is not an obstacle because anyway, my contractual situation will not prevent me from fighting,” said Ngannou. “So I think it’s pretty easy [to make the fight]. Tyson Fury’s contract situation is also coming soon, so nothing can stop us from doing that.

Ngannou went on to say there’s a roughly “70%” chance that Fury will be his next fight, but making the fight happen and winning the fight are two entirely different things. Although a number of “hybrid” concepts have been floated for the fight, including competing with MMA gloves instead of boxing gloves or competing in a cage instead of a ring, ultimately the fight would mostly take place under one set of boxing rules, which favors Fury. And, as even Ngannou admits, Fury’s performance against Whyte shows that ‘The Gypsy King’ still seems to be getting better.

“Incredible performance,” Ngannou said of Fury’s fight with Whyte. “With the fight going on, everyone still has a chance, but to get to the point where it ended this way, very clear and underhanded, just make a statement for yourself. He doesn’t have to introduce himself to anybody, they all know who Tyson is, but that uppercut was so nice that you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s one more thing I have to watch out for. ‘coming.’ [Laughs]. But I think I can take it and I can give it back…

“I’ve been watching Tyson very closely for two years, watching his style, how he boxes and what makes him better. I think over the last two years I’ve collected a lot of data on Tyson that could potentially help me down the road.

Many disagree with him though. One of the dominant sentiments against Ngannou facing Fury is the one-sided perception of the fight. Bettors opened the line for a potential fight between the two heavyweights at -600 in favor of Fury, and those odds have since ballooned to place Fury at -1500 favorite, implying a nearly 94% chance of victory. But for Ngannou, the odds – and anyone who thinks he can’t – are wrong.

“So they don’t know me. It’s even a good sign, because I win the most when I’m an underdog,” said Ngannou. “I’ve heard this so many times in my life, and yet here I am. Even in my last fight, I heard this stuff, but here I am. So until that happens, no one can really know. Anyone can speculate, but it will always be just speculation and opinion. The real fight is how we deliver. It’s the only time someone can be sure of anything.

“It can end both ways. If anyone doubts it can end anyway, then he’s crazy. But from my perspective, how I see it, how I want it to be, and how I’m going to work on it, is to be the best night for me and a bad night for Tyson. Not easy, but possible. 100% I believe I can knock him out. Like I said, it’s not easy, but possible.