Francis Ngannou insisted he possesses the power to stop Tyson Fury when they fight in Riyadh on October 28.
The mixed martial artist, 37, on the occasion of his professional boxing debut, challenges the WBC heavyweight champion – recognised as not only the world’s leading heavyweight, but potentially one of the finest of all time.
Fury’s heart and punch resistance are among his greatest strengths. His recovery from a knockdown – he had also suffered an earlier knockdown – in the 12th round of his first fight with the explosive, heavy-handed Deontay Wilder in 2018 became iconic.
He also survived when on the brink of being stopped by the American – one of the most devastating punchers in history – during their third fight in 2021, but Ngannou believes that he can succeed where Wilder, whose punching power has been compared with that of Earnie Shavers, Sonny Liston and George Foreman, did not.
“If it does land – good night,” Ngannou said. “Lights off. What do you think will happen?
“I mean, not to mention that this is a heavyweight fight. We know that anybody in the heavyweight division can knock anybody out. You don’t need to have a tremendous power.”
“I don’t know what it’s going to be like,” responded Fury, 35. “Is it going to be much different from every other heavyweight that I’ve fought? Probably not. Will it bounce off me? Probably so. Because I’m bulletproof.”