Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was unable to reach a contract agreement with the fight promotion after two years of negotiations.
“The Predator” was giving an offer that would have made him the highest paid heavyweight in UFC history, but he turned it down. Ngannou expects to make his boxing debut this summer. His most likely opponent is heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. The two began hyping a matchup last year.
Following Fury’s sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte in April 2022, in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London, Ngannou entered the ring and the two teased a potential ‘hybrid’ match. In June, the two had a brief exchange on social media.
““Thought you wanted some smoke,” Fury wrote with a screenshot of them in the ring together following the Whyte bout with a photoshopped chicken on Ngannou’s head. “Let’s do a propper fight! Wembley Stadium 2022.”
“Don’t you dare think that I take my eyes off of you. You’re still my priority! I’m coming for all the smoke 2023,” Ngannou responded.
Here we are in 2023 and a boxing match between the two appears inevitable. When, and if they to do meet inside the squared circle, UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith doesn’t think Ngannou is going to have a good showing.
“As analysts, there’s not a world where Francis Ngannou beats Tyson Fury,” Smith said on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast . “Francis Ngannou is just a regular dude as a heavyweight boxer. He’s uncommon in MMA. He’s unique. He’s very special, but in professional boxing, he’s average at best. At best, he’s an average puncher. He’s a below average boxer. He’s below average in his footwork and movement. He’s below average in his defense. He’s not gonna fare that well as a heavyweight professional boxer. He’s gonna get one big boxing fight and then the ‘new’ is going to wear off. We’re gonna see how good he actually is and be like, ‘Oh f**k. He’s not that good.’”