According to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury’s next opponent will be former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren teased a big announcement incoming for Fury’s next fight, one that would reportedly change the world of boxing. A fight against Ngannou would certainly qualify. Not since Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather have we seen a cross-sport showdown of this magnitude.
“It’s rumored that Tyson Fury’s next opponent will be Francis Ngannou,” Hearn shared on a new episode of Boxing Social. “Yes, I believe [that is going to happen].”
“This is what I’ve heard: It would be an exhibition apparently, no knockdowns or anything,” he continued. “I don’t know, I mean I’m only telling you what I’ve heard. Who knows what’s what, but I think that is, apparently, what is going to be the next fight [for Fury]. [It’s] disappointing, but it is what it is.”
“Good for boxing or not, it’s a big event,” Hearn continued. “I wanted to see him fight Usyk, it’d be nice to get an undisputed champion. But look: Tyson’s in charge of his own career and I’m sure he’s gonna make a load of money and good luck to him racking up a quick one-offer.”
Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou were teasing a potential mixed-rules boxing bout for several months, but a lot of that talk dried up once Ngannou finally gained his freedom from the UFC. Since then “The Predator” has floated fights against Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, but no one seemed in a rush to sign a contract.
What could have caused this sudden change in Tyson Fury? Reportedly, a big money fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk was being targeted for December in Saudi Arabia. But recent news has the Saudi promoters pushing the date back to the first quarter of 2024, opening up Fury’s schedule.
Even with Hearn’s confirmation that Fury vs. Ngannou is in the works, all of this is still tentative. Fury is notoriously difficult to negotiate with, so even at this stage a fight may fail to materialize. It’s also a possibility that the Ngannou negotiations are part of a leverage game to force a better deal in a fight Tyson is actually trying to put together.
So get excited, but not too excited about the possibility of a Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury showdown later this year.