Boxing: Tyson Fury v Ngannou, Briton Vows To Kock Out His Opponent

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Tyson Fury vowed to knock Francis Ngannou “spark out” during a chaotic and pantomime-like media conference which was overshadowed by the antics of the Briton’s father. Fury, 35, will face former UFC champion Ngannou, who has no professional record in boxing, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Fury’s WBC heavyweight champion title will not be on the line.

“I know you can’t punch. Zero power,” Fury told 37-year-old Ngannou. The French-Cameroonian replied: “OK, leave your chin on the way and you’ll find out.” The exchange appeared orchestrated and light-hearted at times, with both Fury and Ngannou almost breaking character and laughing.

Boxing purists had criticised Fury for taking on a crossover bout with novice Ngannou, rather than facing a ranked contender. It remains unclear whether the fight will be a professional bout. It will take place in a separate ring in an arena adjacent to the undercard bouts, which will come under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).

Although the WBC has not sanctioned this as a world-title bout, it has created a commemorative ‘Riyadh Champion’ belt for the winner. Despite being an unknown quantity in boxing, Ngannou boasts an MMA record of 12 knockouts from 17 fights, with three defeats, but ‘The Gypsy King’ said he was “not convinced” by the power.

“I’m working with Sugar Hill to knock him out cold on Saturday night and I have no doubt in my mind I will knock him out,” Fury said. “I believe there’s levels to the game and he will find out my level on Saturday night. We’re going to see if he’s got the guts to stand and trade with the number one heavyweight in the world.”

Ngannou’s remarkable and inspirational journey has taken him from working in a sand quarry in Cameroon as a 12-year-old to the very pinnacle of combat sports. He refused to dismiss his opponent’s credentials and thanked Fury for the opportunity. “It might be a little weird but I want to thank Tyson Fury for taking the fight. There’s a lot of risk for him – he might go to sleep on Saturday night. I thank you for the courage,” Ngannou said.

The media conference – just as it was in London in September – was once again filled with tributes and gratitude by those on the top table toward the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting the event. The event will form part of ‘Riyadh Season’ – an entertainment events festival held in Saudi Arabia’s capital every winter since 2019.

Fury whistled and clapped as tributes were paid Saudi Arabia for hosting the fight. The country has reportedly paid big money to bring Fury’s bout with Ngannou to the region, but the Gulf Kingdom has been accused of investing in sport and using high-profile events to improve its international reputation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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