Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, may be getting an offer to face Tyson Fury sooner rather than later.
Fury has repeatedly called out Ngannou for a special rules boxing match in a cage with four-ounce gloves. Standing in the way of that battle is Oleksandr Usyk, who currently holds three of the four major Heavyweight boxing belts. A battle between Usyk and Fury has been brewing since Usyk beat Anthony Joshua for the second time in Aug. 2022.
But, a dispute over the purse split may derail their fight.
According to Boxing Scene, Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, has informed Fury’s camp that they will only accept a 50-50 purse split.
“I can’t really say anything in particular because we’re in the middle of negotiations,” Krassyuk said. “I can say for sure if it’s a fair deal when it comes to the unification, which is the undisputed unification, where one fighter has three belts and the other has one belt a 50-50 split sounds fair. It sounds more fair than it should be.
“If Tyson accepts this fair condition, it means he’s a real warrior and he really wants to fight not just for money but for heritage, for legacy and for four belts in the biggest fight in Heavyweight history at Wembley stadium,” he continued. “Why not? End of April, beginning of May, perfect timing, but it has to be fair. As long as I’m representing Usyk, I will fight for fair conditions.”
Krassyuk is on his way to the United Kingdom today to engage in “crunch talks” with Fury’s team to try and lock down a deal. But, Fury has gained a reputation for being a somewhat squirrelly negotiator. Multiple attempts to book a fight with Joshua have failed. Now, Team Usyk is discovering how difficult even a no-brainer Heavyweight unification fight can be to sign when dealing with Team Fury.
Decisions pic.twitter.com/96OSS65rGW— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) February 6, 2023
According to Fury’s promoter Frank Warren, Ngannou is “an option that Tyson’s mentioned to me if this fight falls through.” And Ngannou has been pushing to get a contract signed with Fury as soon as possible. Is Ngannou really on the verge of landing his big money Fury fight this summer, or is Fury just using him as leverage to try and extract a few more percentage points out of Usyk?
Ngannou isn’t short on options, either.
“The Predator” recently posted on his social media suggesting he was considering Fury, Joshua and Deontay Wilder for his boxing debut. All three boxers have agreed in media interviews to fighting the mixed martial arts (MMA) star, and all three have had talks with Ngannou.
Wilder has even offered to compete in MMA.
But, as it stands, Ngannou remains without a contract to fight anyone. And according to Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, he could stay that way if he keeps waiting for Fury.
“In boxing, you can waste your time, you can go through months of negotiations with the wrong people,” Hearn said on The MMA Hour. “Next thing, a deal’s done, the contract’s breached, an escrow fallen through, and you’ve wasted six months of the year.”
Who do you think Ngannou should face in his boxing debut, Maniacs? Or are you not interested unless “The Predator” is fighting in a cage again?