A lot has been made of Francis Ngannou’s quest to become a free agent. While Ngannou had many noble requests during his negotiation with UFC, not many people mention that Ngannou’s key request was a freedom to compete in boxing.
UFC has no interest to open those doors again after their failed venture with Zuffa boxing that never really got off the ground.
Following the announcement that UFC and Ngannou weren’t able to come to terms, many pundits questioned if this spelled the ending for Tyson Fury’s boxing challenge against Francis Ngannou.
UFC’s infamous mouth piece, Chael Sonnen, even speculated that the only reason Fury was interested was because Ngannou was UFC’s official Heavyweight champion.
“I understand that boxing is where he wants to be, but you’ve got to understand, in boxing – you’ve got a guy that was outstruck in his last fight. That’s just the truth. Ciryl Gane outstruck him. You got a guy that has a knee injury. You got a guy that’s an unknown age of at least 36 years old and you got a guy that’s over 300 pounds.”
“This isn’t what the world is playing – it’s just not. If you’re Tyson Fury and you go beat up a guy who’s never done this before, who’s coming off a knee injury, who’s over the weight limit – you got to have something that Tyson could use, and you did when you had the UFC championship and now you don’t.”
But Sonnen may have jumped the gun on this one. Fury was on hand at the last night’s boxing event during which he confirmed his interest in Ngannou.
Fury told talksport:
“Yeah, there is. Maybe I fight Francis Ngannou in a cage, with four ounce gloves, Queensbury rules. Bad a** referee like Mike Tyson. Who’s not going to watch that? It can happen, you know.”
When asked if he was interested in boxing against Anthony Joshua, Fury clarified it’s either Usyk or Ngannou for him:
“Not interested. Not interested. And I’m looking for the fight in a century against Usyk on if not about a spot on the planet fight against Francis Ngannou even one of them tooth that’s what I’m looking for really.”
In another interview Fury shared:
“Francis Ngannou. I know you’re out of contract with the UFC. You want to earn some big boy money. Come see the Gypsy King, and let’s do a big, big fight for the baddest MF on the planet. Let’s kick it up spicy in a cage for ourselves on the Queensberry. Let’s have a bad a** referee. Like Iron Mike Tyson. Whoa.”
Ngannou reportedly has an offer from Misfits Boxing to face Derek Chisora so it will be interesting to see the route he chooses now that he’s free of UFC’s restricting contract.