UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is currently in a heated renegotiation with the UFC, and the fighter gave a glimpse into why.
Ngannou wants to test himself in the boxing ring during his professional fighting career, and he is not giving up on his squared circle dream.
Big Boxing Dreams
“It’s always been down the line,” Ngannou said to TMZ Sports. “This is something I’m not taking my eyes off of. It’s gonna happen, either way. Even if, when the UFC and I finalize a deal, the boxing part has to be into it because I can’t see myself retire without boxing.”
Scheduled to face Ciryl Gane for his next title defense, the 35-year-old Ngannou is on the final fight of his current UFC contract. However, Ngganou is looking at his bout with Ciryl Gane in tandem with his aspirations to compete in boxing matches.
Ngganou wants to start right at the top of the global heavyweight ranks.
“Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level,” Ngannou said.
Sizing Up The Landscape
Tyson Fury is the current WBC heavyweight champion with a 31-0-1 record after defeating Deontay Wilder twice in their trilogy. “The Gypsy King” is one of the most exciting heavyweights in boxing history.
Francis Ngannou wants to test his power against boxing heavyweight elites 💥 pic.twitter.com/i8ePKPt8rD
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) January 1, 2022
Wilder is 41-2-1 in his career, with his only losses coming via Fury. Now with Fury anticipating the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 and Wilder still on suspension for the knockout loss, the heavyweight ranks are back in the spotlight again for the sport.
Fury has previously called Ngannou out back in April.
Fire And Fury
“This is a message to Francis Ngannou and the UFC guys,” Fury said in a social media video aimed at the UFC champ. “Look, you want some of this Gypsy King money? You know where to come and find it.
“You want some of this Gypsy King power? I’ll give it to you. Anytime, any place, anywhere. Seven days a week and twice on a Sunday, you big ugly dosser.”
Although either opponent would be a significant challenge and payday for Ngannou, he has to get the approval of the UFC first.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) January 1, 2022
May The Odds Be In Your Favor
The Cameroonian won the UFC heavyweight title with a knockout win over Stipe Miocic last March, his fifth straight knockout win. He is ranked the No. 4 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC and is a pay-per-view star in the organization.
However, the pipeline from MMA to boxing while still under UFC contract only has one example: when Conor McGregor took on Foyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017.
Former UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley recently had two professional boxing matches against Jake Paul, both of which he lost. Before that, former MMA champion Ben Askren took a first-round “L” to Paul.
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou: "It's gonna happen. Even if/when the UFC and I finalise a deal, the boxing part has to be into it. I can't see myself retiring without boxing. Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I'd like to test myself to that level." [@TMZ_Sports]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) December 31, 2021
Still About That Action
Additionally, former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir was stopped in a hybrid-rules fight against Kubrat Pulev. However, former UFC middleweight GOAT Anderson Silva defeated Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. via split decision back in June.
However, despite the slim odds from other people’s experiences, Ngannou still believes he will succeed in boxing.
“At the end of the day, it’s just about like trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I’m sure that if I deliver my own punch, it’s pretty good, I can make some damage.”
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