Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou Tease Superfight After TKO of Dillian Whyte

Adam WellsApril 23, 2022

British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury poses during weigh-in at the Boxpark Wembley venue, near Wembley Stadium, in London, Friday, April 22, 2022. Wembley Stadium will stage Tyson Fury's defense of the WBC heavyweight title against British countryman Dillian Whyte on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

After knocking out Dillian Whyte in the sixth round of their heavyweight title fight on Saturday, Tyson Fury teased a bout with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. 

According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Fury brought Ngannou into the ring during his postmatch interview and said the two would be fighting at some point. 

"Going to be an explosive fight when it happens," Fury said.

The most obvious potential road block to a Fury-Ngannou bout is Ngannou having a contract with the UFC. 

Barring some agreement between the UFC and Top Rank, a bout would have to wait until Ngannou's current deal with the UFC expires. 

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told ESPN's Lance Pugmire he thinks the fight "should be easy to make" since Fury and Ngannou "are with ESPN."

Arum is referring to the UFC's television contract with ESPN, but that has nothing to do with whether or not UFC President Dana White would allow one of his fighters to work in another sport. 

Ngannou also sounded confident the superfight would happen:

UFC on BT Sport @btsportufc

"Definitely sometime next year. 2023. That fight will happen!"<br><br>"Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou in Africa. The Rumble in the Jungle 2!"<a href="https://twitter.com/francis_ngannou?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@francis_ngannou</a> is adamant the <a href="https://twitter.com/Tyson_Fury?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tyson_Fury</a> fight will happen! πŸ‘€<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FuryWhyte?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FuryWhyte</a> <a href="https://t.co/h4wuQGGsvO">pic.twitter.com/h4wuQGGsvO</a>

There appeared to be some contract issues between the UFC and Ngannou's camp last year when the promotion moved quickly to make an interim heavyweight title fight between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 in August. 

Things eventually got worked out, as Ngannou returned to the Octagon in January to defeat Gane by unanimous decision and win the unified title. He is unlikely to fight again this year because of a damaged ACL and torn MCL that will require surgery. He suffered the injuries during training for his bout with Gane. 

Fury and Ngannou have been going back and forth about a potential fight for months. The Gypsy King went so far as to tell iFL TV in February (h/t Martin Domin of the Mirror) he has a date in mind for the bout. 

"I'm gonna fight Francis Ngannou in Las Vegas next year, next March or February," Fury said. 

In an interview with Barstool Sports last month (h/t MMA Junkie's Farah Hannoun), White said it would be "a really bad idea" for Ngannou to fight Fury because his boxing prowess doesn't compare to someone like Fury.

Fury is unbeaten in 33 career fights with a 32-0-1 record. He avenged the only non-win on his resume by beating Deontay Wilder by TKO and knockout in their subsequent fights after a draw in December 2018. 

Ngannou is arguably the most dominant fighter in the UFC right now. The Predator has won six consecutive fights since back-to-back losses against Lewis and Stipe Miocic in 2018. He has a 17-3 career record with 16 wins via stoppage (12 knockouts, four submissions).