Following Jake Paul’s success as a celebrity boxer, Francis Ngannou has said that he wants to fight boxing legends such Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. On Twitter, Tyson Fury responded to Ngannou’s wish and challenged him to fight in a crossover bout. Ngannou jumped on the challenge. In spite of all the hype, his former coach Fernand Lopez doubts Ngannou has a chance against The Gypsy King.
UFC heavyweight champion is a powerhouse and is well-known for his deadly striking game. But his former coach doubts his ability to match a top tier boxer:
“It would take at least three years for Francis Ngannou to be competitive from a boxing standpoint with Tyson Fury, and I mean three years only dedicated to boxing. Realistically, he would have to stop everything else and probably do nothing else for three years, only boxing. No grappling, nothing else. The way that his body and muscles are built, it will not allow him to keep throwing punches after the third round.” Fernand Lopez told The Mac Life.
Lopez who trained Ngannou for years and got him into the UFC dropped some hard truths and predicted how the fight against Tyon Fury would go.
“All he can do is have a high defense; be elusive, close footwork, change direction. But eventually, Tyson will wear him down, get him tired, work the body and then go up with the uppercut, and sooner or later Francis will give up because of the volume, because of the pressure shots and he will just go down.”
“We are not expecting anything brilliant, Francis is not a boxer. You train a lot to be a boxer. Boxing needs dedication, boxing needs sacrifice, you need years and years to train. So we know the outcome of that fight. The question is how much Francis Ngannou can cash out because he only has one shot. Because objectively speaking, he cannot think about having a boxing career because his boxing skill will not be enough for him to become a boxer.”
Despite the warning from his ex-coach, Francis Ngannou still wants to fight Tyson Fury. What he wants might not be what the reality dictates however – Ngannou is stuck in a draconic contract with the UFC that is likely to auto extend via a so-called ‘champions clause’ if he were to defeat Cyril Gane during UFC 270.