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Tyson Fury? Deontay Wilder? Francis Ngannou can ‘match up with any of those guys’

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UFC Fight Night: Ngannou v Dos Santos Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title contender Francis Ngannou is on a mission to capture the 265-pound crown, but won’t consider his combat sports career to be complete until he also crosses over to the “sweet science.”

And before all the naysayers accuse him of jumping on the boxing bandwagon, thanks to the resurgence of the heavyweight division in recent years, “The Predator” wants fans to know that his first dream was to be a star pugilist.

“I want to cross over,” Ngannou told BJPenn.com. “I want to make a statement in the boxing world because that was my first love, that was my first dream. Before MMA came around, I was all about boxing. At some point in my life I have to do whatever I like, whatever I love to do, to check all those boxes in my life timeline to do things.”

Time is not on his side as Ngannou turns 34 in September. Certainly not over the hill, but consider the world’s best boxers, like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and just 30 and 31, respectively. And it would take “The Predator” a couple of high-profile wins to secure those kinds of paydays.

“Honestly I think, obviously with good preparation I can matchup with any of those guys,” Ngannou continued. “But once again, I’m not just going there for one shot, so I’m probably going to have multiple fights that will give me more opportunity to matchup with many of those guys, if it’s not all of them. I’m really willing to do that.”

Ngannou (14-3) will first have to get past Jairzinho Rozenstruik at the upcoming UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place on April 18 inside Tachi Palace Resort & Casino. If he’s successful, expect “The Predator” to secure the winner of this fight.