Tyson Fury has claimed former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will pose a tougher test than Oleksandr Usyk.
The Briton, who holds the WBC world heavyweight title, had been criticized in boxing circles for agreeing to the exhibition match rather than fighting the IBF, WBO, IBO and WBC champion from Ukraine in a fight of unification.
Talk of a Fury-Usyk fight collapsed, apparently because of the stock market split.
“Look, I’m dealing with Francis Ngannou,” Fury said. “And if the other little sausage wants to fight uncontested, then if he takes a small percentage, we might make it happen.” But if he wants a big bag, I’ll say, ‘No, thank you.’
“Now I’m fighting against Francis Ngannou, who is stepping up to the plate. And I think he’s going to be a little bigger and tougher challenge than those other guys. These other guys are just boxers; this guy is more than that.
The fight will take place under normal boxing rules, 10 rounds and three judges will decide the fight if necessary.
Undefeated Fury will be a heavy favorite to beat Ngannou, a 6-foot-4, 20-ranked fighter whose story arc is extraordinary.
Originally from a small village in Cameroon, Ngannou worked in a sand quarry from the age of 10, then crossed the Sahara on foot, then boarded a raft to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. The 36-year-old found himself homeless on the streets of Paris, before entering a gym, which changed his life.
To read what both fighters had to say, head here.
When does the fight take place and at what time?
Fury and Ngannou will face off on Saturday, October 28.
The start time for the main event has not yet been announced, but it is expected to begin around 10/11 p.m. (BST).
Who is on the undercard list
The undercard lineup has not yet been announced, but will be updated here when it is.
Where is he?
Fury will face the former UFC heavyweight champion in a 10-round fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The exact location has yet to be confirmed.
How can I watch it in the UK?
The fight will be shown live on TNT Sports in the UK.
It seems likely that it will be on PPV and, based on the recent Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford fight, it will cost UK viewers £19.95.
Fury says he wants the world to laugh at him if he loses a boxing match against former UFC champion Ngannou.
“If I lose to an MMA guy, I will never be able to show myself in public again,” said the 35-year-old Briton. “It will make me look ridiculous – people will blame it on me forever.
“If I get knocked out, then I want you all to laugh at me. This is what I want, because I deserve it.
Ngannou is trained by Mike Tyson, a man who goes by the name Fury. “Too bad for him, Mike Tyson loves me more than him,” Ngannou said.
“I’ve dreamed since I was a child of becoming a boxer,” he added. “It’s not just that I’m going to box, but I’m going to box the guy on the mountain.
“No one knows exactly what will happen. But what I know for sure is that I’m going to go look for this guy’s head, to remove it.
“What will happen the moment this guy hits the ground and doesn’t get up?”
“Am I going to be the best boxer in the world? If you take out #1, are you #1? I think so.”
Ngannou’s revealed fee as UFC champion was $600,000 (£463,000), but Fury said the French-Cameroonian fighter would pocket $10million for the clash.
What are the best chances?
- Tyson Fury 1/12
- Francis Ngannou 8/1
- Draw 28/1
Weird correct as of September 29
Bet on the fight? Get the best free bets and register here