UFC's Francis Ngannou Says He Wants to Box Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

Francis Ngannou in action against Stipe Miocic during a heavyweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 220, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Boston. Miocic retained his title via unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
AP Photo/Gregory Payan

After earning the UFC heavyweight title, Francis Ngannou wants to test himself in the boxing ring at some point in his career.

"It's always been down the line," Ngannou said of boxing, per TMZ Sports. "This is something I'm not taking my eyes off of. It's gonna happen, either way. Even if, when the UFC and I finalize a deal, the boxing part has to be into it because I can't see myself retire without boxing."

The 35-year-old is scheduled to face Ciryl Gane in an MMA bout, the final fight of his current UFC contract. If his next contract allows him to compete in a boxing match, he wants to take on the top competitors in his division.

"Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level," Ngannou said.

Fury is the current WBC heavyweight champion with a 31-0-1 record, while Wilder is 41-2-1 in his career with his only losses coming to Fury. The two have been by far the best heavyweights in the world for about a decade.

Either opponent would be a major challenge for Ngannou, although he is no slouch himself.

The Cameroonian won the UFC heavyweight title with a knockout win over Stipe Miocic last March, his fifth straight knockout win. He is ranked the No. 4 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC.

Even with different rules, Ngannou believes he could succeed as a boxer.

"At the end of the day, it's just about like trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I'm sure that if I deliver my own punch, it's pretty good, I can make some damage," he told TMZ.