Ngannou still persuaded the best boxer to fight. But you’ll have to wait
Jun 13, 2023 10:15 am UTC Audio Version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Wilder agrees to fight even under MMA rules.
When the UFC’s top heavyweight Francis Ngannou announced that he wanted to try his hand at professional boxing, he probably expected a long line led by Tyson Fury to fight him, but the reality turned out to be much harsher.
Ngannou has not fought for a year and a half, he finally left the UFC in January, but there is still no agreed fight. It is unlikely that Francis expected the hiatus to last that long. And just the other day, another guy with a piercing punch appeared on the horizon: Deontay Wilder. The bronze bomber is ready to not only invite Ngannou into the professional ring, but also to return to the cage. Maybe not just because Wilder came to visit the PFL and tried on MMA gloves.
“It can really happen. I spoke with Francis, our teams also met. I cannot give the exact date, but everything is serious. Francis, can you hear me? We have already discussed this, and we have an opportunity to speak again. I accept two fights: according to the boxing rules and according to the MMA rules,” MMAFighting quotes Wilder.
Ngannou can rejoice and slowly start preparing for the long-awaited meeting, but of course, there are no official announcements now. Don’t forget that Wilder is a professional boxer and the fight with Ngannou is more like entertainment and an opportunity for him to make money. If the real prospect of meeting someone like Anthony Joshua looms on the horizon, then Ngannou will immediately be passed over.
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As for the sporting prospects of Francis Ngannou in such a fight, then, of course, there will be more chances with Wilder than with Tyson Fury himself, who is a much more technical and skilled fighter. Wilder’s main ability has always been terrible knockout power. But “more chances” does not mean that Ngannou will be the favourite. The Predator is still an MMA fighter who hasn’t faced the kind of opposition and defense that any elite boxer has. Plus big gloves that Francis wasn’t used to. Wilder can put out the lights on Ngannou like he did on most opponents. The only difference is that he can miss himself.
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British UFC prospect Tom Aspinall shared the same opinion: “I would like to see Ngannou against Wilder. Two big fucking guys going through walls… Unbelievable, I’d love to see that. I think if Ngannou can beat anyone, it’s Wilder. I don’t want to criticize Wilder because he has one of the strongest punches, but if we talk about boxing skills, his level is much lower than Usyk and Tyson Fury. Although the force of the blow from him turns around.”
Two months ago, columnist Dan Rafael said that the fighters so far had only agreed that if the fight did take place, only according to all the rules of professional boxing, no hybrids with MMA. At the same time, referring to Wilder’s manager, he made it clear that there are still no substantive negotiations.
Now, apparently, the situation has begun to change for the better for Ngannou, but Francis’s side is silent. There are still at least six months left before his PFL debut, but perhaps the Cameroonian decided to adjust his plans, for example, return to MMA now and postpone his boxing debut until next year. There will be only one opportunity to remember himself and the force of his blow, and Wilder will have time to decide at the same time: Ngannou or Joshua?
The main thing is not to miss the moment, because further Ngannou will only lose relevance and cease to be interesting for promoters.