Deontay Wilder is suddenly looking like a solid frontrunner to fight Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou left the UFC at the start of 2023 with a goal of securing a big money boxing bout. While he signed a deal with the PFL for a return to MMA in 2024, things were looking rocky for a boxing superfight this year.
Tyson Fury, once so hot on a Ngannou fight, has become much cooler on the idea lately. Anthony Joshua labeled the Ngannou fight a ‘gimmick.’ But now we have boxing’s hardest heavyweight puncher Deontay Wilder coming to the rescue.
Wilder was on hand at last night’s PFL event and spoke to media about the fight.
“All things and any things are possible,” he told MMA Fighting. “So, you know, me and Francis have had discussions, we’ve had meetings, with both parties as far as the team is concerned. So, this is a real conversation that has been taking place. Not just amongst the combat family, but amongst the teams as well. So, this is something that could truly happen. The best is yet to come, overall.”
“The Bronze Bomber” even appeared on the PFL broadcast to talk up the idea of boxing Ngannou AND fighting him in the cage.
“You always see the MMA guys crossing over but you never see the boxers crossing over,” Wilder said. “I want to make it more interesting for the fans and just my whole comeback family, you know? I said, ‘Well how about you come to my backyard and after we have that business I can come to yours and cross over. And I really meant it.”
“Things are still up in the air but I have seen myself on this side of the field.”
Wilder has a reputation for being a ferocious knockout artist despite a lack of polish on his technical boxing skills. That makes him a much more interesting potential opponent for Francis Ngannou than a Fury or Joshua. There’s much less chance Ngannou vs. Wilder turns into the more experienced boxer just keeping Ngannou on the end of a slick jab.
We’ll see how things develop, but Deontay Wilder showing up on a PFL broadcast certainly tells you he’s more serious than all the other heavyweight candidates out there.