It’s official. Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou will take place on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Per press release, the boxer vs. mixed martial artist bout between the WBC heavyweight champ and the former UFC heavyweight champ will take place inside a regulation boxing ring, under traditional boxing rules. As of this writing, however, it hasn’t been confirmed whether the bout will be an official on-the-records bout or if Fury’s title will be on the line. Most likely, from early indications, though, the answer to the former will be “yes” while the answer to the latter will be “no.”
At any rate, this across-the-fence boxing match has been rumored for awhile and it only seemed a matter of logistics and timing before it got made. Not surprisingly, the WBC has already given the fight the green light.
“Tyson Fury received special permission from the WBC to fight Francis Ngannou as there is no official challenger,” WBC president Mauricio Suilaman said Tuesday afternoon.
“Fury tried to close fights against [Andy] Ruiz, [Anthony] Joshua and [Oleksandr] Usyk but no agreement was reached,” Sulaiman added, justifying their champion meeting the MMA star and not a top-ranked contender.
“As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away!” Fury said in a statement released to the press. “This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK. I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights. I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft. Francis looked tough when he jumped in the ring after the Whyte fight, but there is no one tougher than me, and you’ll all see that in devastating fashion on October 28. I’d like to thank my promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum, my manager Spencer Brown and the guys at Riyadh Season for making this incredible event possible. It’s going to be a fight for the ages. Get up!”
Ngannou, who won the UFC heavyweight title in March of 2021, but was stripped of the belt just one defense later due to a contract dispute, has always talked of making a run in the boxing ring. And, apparently, he’ll be starting right at the top.
“I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years. My dream was always to box, and to box the best,” said Ngannou, who, at one point, was also tied to a rumored bout with former WBC champ Deontay Wilder. “After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet. I’d like to thank Riyadh Season and my team at 3Point0 Labs for helping put this event together. All I will say to Tyson for now is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”
Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum anticipates a good fight and a major event on October 28.
“Tyson Fury is one of the finest heavyweight boxers in history, and he now has an opportunity to lock horns with an MMA legend,” said Arum, founder and chairman of Top Rank Promotions. “This will be a historic event, and we know that Tyson Fury will put on a tremendous fight. The people of Riyadh and fight fans around the world are in for a real treat.”
There’s no word yet on who will broadcast the event or what the pay-per-view price tag will be.