Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou
Tyson Fury's promoter interested in staging fight with UFC star Francis Ngannou.
Tyson Fury 's promoters Top Rank are interested in arranging a crossover fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Todd DuBoef, the president of Top Rank, told the Sports Business Journal the fight could be made easier due to both parties having media rights tied to ESPN.
UFC parted ways with their longtime broadcast network FOX in 2018 and signed a deal worth $1.5 billion over five years with ESPN.
DuBoef also added he thinks a fight between the two heavyweight giants would "do really well".
A crossover fight would mean UFC boss Dana White and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum would be forced to put their bitter feud aside together to work together.
Talks of a fight between WBC heavyweight champion Fury and Ngannou have come after the UFC star expressed his desire to compete in boxing.
Ngannou defends his heavyweight title for the first time at UFC 270 on January 22 against his former sparring partner and interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane.
Currently on the last fight of his UFC deal, Ngannou will owe the UFC another fight if he wins against Gane due to the 'champions clause' but will be a free agent if he loses.
Fury teased a fight with Ngannou by uploading a mock-up fighter poster and writing: "Who would like to see me fight this beast boxing rules, UFC gloves?"
'The Predator' replied to Fury's call-out with a set of his own unique demands, writing: "How about MMA rules with boxing gloves? I can do you that favour."
Ngannou refused to sign a new UFC deal last year after feeling "unprotected" in certain terms of the contract.
The Cameroonian has demanded a clause in a new contract that would allow him to box heavyweight stars such as Fury and Anthony Joshua.
But UFC president Dana White told Ngannou he was " free to leave " after his current deal runs out with the promotion.
And of his plans to step into the ring, Ngannou told TMZ : “It's always been down the line.
"This is something I'm not taking my eyes off of, it's going to happen, either way. Even if, when the UFC and I finalise a deal, the boxing part has to be in it.
"I can't see myself retiring without boxing. Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level."
The only UFC fighter to be granted an exemption to box was Conor McGregor in 2017, who was stopped by ring legend Floyd Mayweather in the crossover bout.
Re: Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou
Alternate headline...Underpaid ufc fella in long running contract dispute wants a short cut to boxing millions. Or to have some leverage in negotiation with ufc with new contract. Ngannou should stay in his lane :). Hearn has this one right, nonsense.
Re: Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou told he would need to quit UFC and train for THREE-YEARS to compete with Tyson Fury in boxing ring
FRANCIS NGANNOU would need to quit mixed martial arts and solely train in boxing for THREE YEARS to stand a chance against Tyson Fury.
The UFC's heavyweight champion accepted a shock call out from The Gypsy King on social media last week.
But the Predator's old coach Fernand Lopez reckons he'd need to immerse himself in the sweet science the the next three years to have any hope of hanging with the WBC heavyweight champ.
The MMA Factory chief said: "I think the fight makes sense for Francis because he thinks he can cash out.
"There’s also something there for Tyson Fury - he doesn't care that it’s not a competitive fight, he just wants to make money and make some news.
“It would take at least three years for Francis Ngannou to be competitive from a boxing standpoint with Tyson Fury, and I mean three years only dedicated to boxing.
“Realistically he would have to stop everything else and probably do nothing else for three years, only boxing. No grappling, nothing else."
Ngannou, 34, has shown conditioning problems in the past and Lopez reckons they'd rear their head in a fight with Fury.
He added: "The way that his body and muscles are built, it will not allow him to keep throwing punches after the third round.
“I’m not sure Francis can ever challenge the stamina or endurance of Tyson Fury."
Should the shock bout come to fruition, Lopez can only see former lineal heavyweight champ Fury having his hand raised.
He said: "All he can do is have a high defence; be elusive, close footwork, change direction.
"But eventually Tyson will wear him down, get him tired, work the body and then go up with the uppercut, and sooner or later Francis will give up because of the volume, because of the pressure shots and he will just go down. I don’t see how he can win the match, this is an opportunity for him to cash out.
“I’m not sure if you’re a UFC fighter it’s worth letting it all go and have three years of steady boxing training - how would you live your life, what would be your income?
"And after three years you may be competitive enough to stand there and keep throwing punches.
“We are not expecting anything brilliant, Francis is not a boxer. You train a lot to be a boxer.
"Boxing needs dedication, boxing needs sacrifice, you need years and years to train. So we know the outcome of that fight."
That being said, Lopez reckons his former student - who is said to be out of contract at the end of the year - could make a bumper payday fighting Fury.
He said: "The question is how much Francis Ngannou can make a lot of money, because he only has one shot.
"Objectively speaking, he cannot think about having a boxing career because his boxing skill will not be enough for him to become a boxer.
“Francis Ngannou wants to move over to boxing but that can only happen if he’s the champ.
"If he leaves the UFC and he’s not the champion, no matter which company he wants to go to, it won’t look good. We have to keep that in mind.
“You can’t ask for a new contract with a clause that allows you to go boxing, it makes no sense.
"And you cannot impose this on the UFC now you are a big name just because you want to cash in - those are not the terms of the agreement.”