By Peter Akinbo
Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has revealed that he wants to face either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury in the boxing ring following his release from the MMA division.
The 35-year-old is currently a free agent after he failed to agree terms on a new deal with UFC. Ngannou has not competed inside the cage since UFC 270 last January, when he defended the heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane.
Ngannou made an appearance on MMA Fighting’s ‘The MMA Hour’ earlier this week to discuss his next possible move.
“I still want to achieve something in boxing and I want to stay in MMA as well,” he said.
“I discovered MMA first in my life and I feel like I have some mileage to give in my sport. In a perfect world, I go out there get some boxing matches then get some MMA, depending on the challenges that are out there.
“If they are out there, I want to fight the top guys in boxing. I don’t know, I think Fury has retired and come back. Whatever it is, if it is with Tyson Fury, I will take it. I have no problem doing boxing with 4oz gloves, we will figure it out. Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua would be my first ideal opponent,” Ngannou said.
However, Jon Jones‘ advisor Richard Schaefer doesn’t think that would be a good idea.
“Maybe he was a big star in UFC, but did he really transcend the UFC? I don’t know. I don’t know enough. I think he’s a terrific athlete, I think he’s very charismatic as well, I’m a fan of his, so I wish him all the best,” he told MMA Fighting.
“I just hope he’s not going to go into boxing, but that he’s going to find whatever big fights he’s looking for. I wish that fight fans, sports fans, would finally understand, if you have an MMA athlete go and compete against a boxer in a boxing ring, the boxer is going to win. There’s just no question about it.
“And if you have a boxer go and compete in an octagon, the MMA guy, under MMA rules, the MMA guy is going to win. It’s two different sports and I don’t see in any way, shape, or form, that Francis Ngannou could go and beat a Deontay Wilder or a Tyson Fury or an Oleksandr Usyk.
“So, if that is the case, why do I need to see it? Why do I need to pay $80 or $100 to see a fight when I know who is going to win? I’m not interested in that.”