Tyson Fury tipped to stand Francis Ngannou ‘on his head’ in boxing match

·3 min read
Tyson Fury has teased a fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (Tyson Fury / Twitter)
Tyson Fury has teased a fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (Tyson Fury / Twitter)

Tyson Fury has been backed to stand Francis Ngannou “on his head” if a proposed fight between the pair goes ahead.

Fury has teased a battle with the UFC heavyweight, proposing a mixed-rules bout contested under boxing regulations but with both fighters wearing significantly lighter UFC gloves.

Ngannou’s contract is due to expire after a heavyweight title unification clash with Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on Saturday 22 January.

And while it has been suggested that Ngannou may then explore the possibility of a marquee match in the boxing ring, former WBO cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli has advised him to steer clear.

Maccarinelli does not believe the Cameroon-born fighter would stand a chance against boxing’s top fighters given the differences between the two combat sport disciplines.

“This is what we’re talking about, is he switching to boxing as in to start a career or is he switching to boxing to fight one of the top boys?” Maccarinelli told Sky Sports.

“If he’s planning to fight one of the top boys he hasn’t got a hope in hell, just like they wouldn’t have a hope in hell in a cage with him.

“It’s two different sports, it’s two different rule sets, two different ways of holding your legs, two different ways of how you approach a fight, it’s just crazy.

“You think, Ngannou coming in talking about [Anthony] Joshua, Fury, [Oleksandr] Usyk, they’d stand him on his head - [Deontay] Wilder, Joe Joyce.

“It’s a different setting and people would say about his power, but it’s just totally different.”

Ngannou recently told ESPN MMA that he was “definitely” open to trying his hand at boxing, and indicated that he would be keen to sign a new contract with UFC that would allow him to pursue both avenues.

Macccarinelli understands why fans would be keen to see the man with the hardest recorded punch in the world take on some of the world’s top heavyweights, and thinks any top fighter would love to have the chance to take him on.

“I can see him doing it, I don’t think it would be an exhibition match, I think he’d like to have a try,” he added.

“But I can’t see him jumping straight in with one of the big boys, I’m sure one of the top boys wouldn’t say no. If I was fighting, I 100 percent would. I think any boxer would.

“Offer Dillian Whyte to fight Ngannou and he’d take it. I did hear that Ngannou gave a good account of himself sparring Joe Joyce, but again sparring is sparring, fighting is fighting.

“[Floyd] Mayweather fought [Conor] McGregor, all the McGregor fans are like ‘he’s the hardest puncher he’s ever faced’, it’s just different levels.

“With Ngannou he’d come out swinging, and he’d still be dangerous, I’m not saying he can’t punch because he obviously can, but he’s going to come out swinging and fight one of these top boys like Fury and they’ll just make him messy.

“He’d be tired out in a couple of rounds the way he fights, he’d have to change his tactic.”

UFC 270 takes place in California on Saturday.

Ngannou vs Gane headlines a five-match main card that also features Brandon Moreno’s defence of the flyweight title.