This Saturday, boxing fans are in for a treat as Tyson Fury prepares to step into the squared circle with none other than Francis Ngannou for their crossover bout in Saudi Arabia, an event fittingly named the “Battle of the Baddest.”
This ten-round non-title spectacle is set to mark Francis Ngannou’s professional boxing debut, adding excitement to the Riyadh Season 2023, known as one of the world’s largest winter entertainment events. Tyson Fury, at 35, currently holds the WBC heavyweight title and boasts a spotless record of 34 professional fights, including 24 electrifying knockouts. In 2015, he made history by dethroning long-standing champion Vladimir Klitschko, becoming the unified heavyweight champion.
Fury’s legacy continued with his epic trilogy against Deontay Wilder, where he triumphed twice after an initial draw. The second bout saw him claim Wilder’s coveted WBC title, and his last match in December ended with a thunderous 10th-round TKO against Derek Chisora in London.
The presence of Mike Tyson in Francis Ngannou’s corner is something that leaves Ngannou almost speechless. Tyson’s aura, while perhaps mellowed by age, still radiates that fierce warrior spirit that once dominated the heavyweight division. Ngannou explains that the training sessions with Tyson are all about volume and pressure, and he attests to the enduring power of Tyson’s intensity by feeling sore after one of their workouts.
Tyson Fury, who shares his first name with the legendary Mike Tyson, must be aware of the psychological aspect of this matchup. However, Francis Ngannou doesn’t seem too concerned about the mind games, attributing it to the nature of the sport. Combat sports often pit friends, allies, or even family members against each other, testing loyalties and relationships. If Fury finds Tyson’s presence “annoying,” Ngannou shrugs it off, emphasizing that it’s all part of the game.
Despite being considered the underdog in this high-stakes bout, with Fury’s record and reputation at stake, Ngannou is prepared to face the challenge. The world of online speculation may have mocked Ngannou’s training with Tyson, but having the “Iron” Mike in his corner could be his secret weapon, the key to a world-shaking upset in this unique showdown.