WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is all set to face former UFC world heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on October 28th, and will reportedly be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The reporting of a deal being struck for the pair to face each other originated from Mike Coppinger of ESPN.
The reporting has not stated if Fury’s WBC world title will be at stake, the slated number of rounds, what rules the fight will be contested at, and no comment from the WBC has been made public at the time of publication.
Talk of a prospective fight between Fury & Ngannou has been in the air since Fury’s successful title defence against Dillian Whyte in April of 2022, of which the former UFC champion was present ringside.
Immediately post-fight, Fury welcomed the proposition by saying, “Big Francis Ngannou is here today. He’s on my hit list in an exhibition fight. However, he wants it: in a cage, in a boxing ring, boxing gloves, UFC gloves, we can make it happen. I think everyone wants to see it. He’s a monster of a guy, I’m a monster of a guy, so it will be a clash of the titans for sure.”
Since his contest victory over Whyte, Fury has defended his WBC title once in a routine affair against Derek Chisora in a contest in which Fury would claim a tenth-round stoppage.
Talks had been held between Fury and unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk, but those talks would ultimately collapse for a proposed bout on April 29th at Wembley Stadium, London. The sticking point in the negotiations was not being able to agree to terms on purse split percentages regarding any possible rematch. Usyk will obligate his mandatory challenger and face Daniel Dubois on August 26th in Wroclaw, Poland, as mandated by the WBA.
Last month, Fury had sent a provisional offer to Anthony Joshua, Matchroom Boxing and 258 management for a proposal to come head-to-head in September at Wembley Stadium. This approach was swiftly rejected by Joshua, who is now facing Dillian Whyte on August 12th in a rematch following their firefight in 2015.
Ngannou, following his exit from the UFC, underwent MCL & ACL surgery in March of this year. The following month, Ngannou signed a deal with MMA organisation PFL to fight under their promotional banner MMA. However, this deal allowed Ngannou to pursue opportunities in other sports, and he spoke at the time of his deal that he wished to pursue varying opportunities within boxing before returning his focus to MMA.
“My next step has to be boxing,” Ngannou told ESPN’s Brett Okomoto in March. “I want to do one boxing match first, and then maybe go back to MMA because I still enjoy MMA. I want to do a couple of fights in boxing. We are working on some stuff, and hopefully, in a month or two, I will be able to come out with an announcement on potential fight dates and locations.
“It’s taking a little longer than I expected, but it’s coming along. Big things come with time.”