Francis Ngannou recently vacated his heavyweight title and parted ways with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after failing to come to terms on a new contract. The promotion was willing to negotiate his considerable price tag; however, dealmakers wouldn’t budge when it came to “The Predator’s” request to dabble in the “sweet science.”
Long before he set sail for greener pastures, Ngannou was unofficially negotiating a potential showdown with boxing champion Tyson Fury, a bout that UFC President Dana White believes is “f*cking stupid.” But if “The Gypsy King” is simply trolling an “average puncher” like Ngannou, then Deontay Wilder is prepared to step up and get it done.
In both sports.
“I’m still interested in that fight, I would love to do that one in Africa,” Wilder told Trill Boxing Talk. “I know he’s doing his own thing, I’m proud of him for following his heart, doing what he feels. I’m very interested in it, let’s do it man. Two big, black superheroes. I even thought about this idea: Let’s make it a two-fight deal. Everybody always come to boxing, let’s do this: You come to my [sport], I’ll come to yours. You come to my house, I’ll come to yours. I’m a true warrior. I’m serious about that, too. I wanna do something different since everybody doing this crossover between combat sports.”
Wilder, 37, is widely-regarded as one of the most devastating punchers in boxing, racking up a staggering 42 knockouts in 43 wins (like this one). “The Bronze Bomber” would be following in the footsteps of James Toney (UFC) and Claressa Shields (PFL), two world-class pugilists who also crossed over to the sport of cage fighting, to mixed results.
“The MMA guys always come to boxing and of course they ain’t got no standup game as far as boxing is concerned so it’s always gonna be more favored on the boxing side,” Wilder continued. “You in our territory, just like being in the water with sharks. I don’t have mixed martial arts experience but of course if that happens I’m gonna go get training and stuff and go from there. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna really put forth effort and give the fans what they want. He’s gonna be training for where I am, why wouldn’t I train for what he do? I might like the shit, I might cross over like, ‘this is my new home.’ I’m gonna be kicking motherf*ckers now! Let’s mix it up, you come here, I’ll go there.”
Fury or Wilder doesn’t matter to Ngannou, who believes he can “match up with any of those guys.”