Chris’s Column: Tyson Fury v. Francis Ngannou preview + prediction 

Francis Ngannou during a heavyweight championship mixed martial arts bout against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220. Fighting Francis Ngannou on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 will earn Fury a reported $50 million. Photo by Gregory Payan/AP Photo

The heavyweight title fight the world has been waiting for is this Saturday, Oct. 28, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This will be the boxing debut of former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who is pitted against the elite heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury. It’s a 10-round fight and will count as an official bout according to the WBC. 

Tale of the Tape

Fury is 35 years old with a 33-0-1 record in boxing. At 6-foot-9, with a reach of 85 inches, Fury has 24 knockouts in his career. Ngannou is 37 years old with a 17-3 record in MMA. He is 6-foot-4, has a reach of 83 inches and a recorded 12 knockouts. 

Tyson Fury

Fury, aka “The Gypsy King,” is fighting at roughly 270 pounds. He provides a fighting style that can be described as orthodox. Fury presents a lot of challenges in the ring for Ngannou. In some of Fury’s most recent fights against Deontay Wilder, he has shown how effective his defense tactics are against fighters. Wilder, an Olympic medalist, looked foolish at times, throwing wild punches towards the end of each round. Fury is known for his exceptional footwork and rolls and ducks under quick jabs. He is a two-time champ who has never lost as a pro. He avenged a draw against Wilder with two KO wins. Of his 24 victories by knockout as a professional fighter, Fury has recorded those against Derek Chisora (twice), Wilder (twice), Dillian Whyte, Otto Wallin, Tom Schwarz and Steve Cunningham. 

Francis Ngannou

Ngannou, aka “The Predator,” also offers an orthodox fighting style and has not fought since January 2022. This will be the first time viewers get to witness Ngannou’s boxing skills. Ngannou competed in the UFC and fought from typically a right-handed stance. He has also displayed impressive uppercuts with his left hand and likes to close distance early on. Ngannou is known for his punching power. 

“His punches are equivalent to 96 horsepower,” noted UFC President Dana White. “That’s equal to getting hit by a Ford Escort going as fast as it can and it’s more powerful than a 12-pound sledgehammer from full force overhead.” 

Ngannou has only had to defend a title belt once against Ciryl Gane, but his belt was stripped when his contract expired with the UFC. 

Final Takeaways

Boxing legend Mike Tyson has been Ngannou’s trainer for the last month. The greatest heavyweight boxer of all time serves as the perfect trainer for Ngannou, though Fury will have the height advantage over Ngannou. While Ngannou is an elite MMA heavyweight, he will have his work cut out for him in a lengthy 10-round clash against Fury. Ngannou has the punching power to knock out anyone, but Fury’s movement and defensive skills will likely tire out Ngannou. I expect Fury to come out on top in a defensive masterclass KO on Ngannou. 

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