UFC's Francis Ngannou Wants to Fight Tyson Fury, Not Mike Tyson, in Boxing Match

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2021

CORRECTS TO JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK NOT JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUCK - Francis Ngannou, left, walks alway after knocking out Jairzinho Rozenstruik, bottom, in the first round of a UFC 249 mixed martial arts bout Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Francis Ngannou is considering making his move to the boxing ring after winning the UFC heavyweight title, but he doesn't plan to face his childhood idol Mike Tyson.

"I don't want to fight Mike Tyson, but I would like to fight another heavyweight boxer such as Tyson Fury," Ngannou told TMZ Sports

The question came up because Mike Tyson, 54, is seeking an opponent for May after his plans with Evander Holyfield fell through. The legendary fighter made his return to the sport last year with an exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. and is planning to continue his comeback.

Ngannou doesn't want any part of this, but he is willing to take on a contemporary champion in what could be a high-profile battle.

"Absolutely. I'm open to that," the 34-year-old said. "Remember boxing was my primary dream and I still have the fire, the dream inside me and I believe at some point I'm gonna make a step."

Ngannou is coming off the biggest win of his career with a second-round knockout over Stipe Miocic, winning the championship belt three years after losing his chance against Miocic at UFC 220. A boxing bout against Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua could become the biggest event in combat sports since Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Conor McGregor in 2017.