As the days inch closer to October 28, the anticipation surrounding Tyson Fury’s upcoming bout with Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is reaching fever pitch. Contrary to Fury’s previous comments, it turns out there’s a rematch clause in the agreement — and understandably so. At 35, Fury’s gilded ring prowess may be dimming, complicated by the fact he’s facing a powerful striker like Ngannou.
“Massive event, Tyson Fury against Francis Ngannou. I don’t care what anyone says; this is enormous,” proclaimed Gareth A. Davies in conversation with iFL TV. His words only underpin the fact that this bout is no ordinary event. It merges the worlds of boxing and MMA, amid enormous promotions and governmental backing, into a seismic display of sportsmanship. “Worlds collide, cultures collide, it’s a massive event,” Gareth elaborated.
What makes this clash all the more intriguing is the state of the combatants. Fury, once the epitome of athletic prowess, now looks like a shadow of his former self. He’s 35 but looks older; he’s visibly obese and hasn’t seen the inside of a ring for nearly a year. With a $65 million fortune in his pocket, it seems Fury has checked out mentally, focusing on the easier bouts while sidestepping heavy-hitters like Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. As Davies notes, both Fury and Ngannou are past their “supernova stage,” sparking speculation about Fury’s potential future in WWE.
“Does Fury have remnants of his knockout?” It’s a question that resounds among boxing fans and pundits alike. Fury’s shaky performance against Deontay Wilder, where he suffered four vicious knockdowns, only heightens this inquiry. If a right hook from Ngannou lands as cleanly as Wilder’s did, Fury may very well find himself staring at the lights. And as Gareth stated, “It’s a real risk if he doesn’t take it seriously. Anything can happen in a fight. Expect the unexpected.”
Ngannou, too, isn’t the youthful sensation he once was. At 37, the MMA legend has less traditional boxing experience than Fury, but he packs a punch that could decimate even the Gypsy King. “He still knows how to throw a right hand with enough zip on it to finish what Deontay Wilder started in his last fight with Fury,” notes Gareth. If Ngannou manages to unleash his power and destabilise Fury, he won’t be wasting time. The rematch clause in their contract will suddenly look like a stroke of genius from his management team.
So what’s at stake? For Fury, it’s more than just a rematch clause or another big payday; it’s a test of his remaining mettle in the boxing ring. For Ngannou, it’s an opportunity to prove that raw power can transcend sporting boundaries, and if Mike Tyson being in his corner is any indication, Ngannou isn’t stepping into the ring unprepared. “He’s on a win-win, and he’s being paid handsomely,” concludes Gareth. “Fury’s got to knock get knocked out, end of.”
Let’s not forget the cameo of Muay Thai coach Rafael Cordero in Ngannou’s training camp. While some may question the utility of a Muay Thai expert in a boxing ring, the involvement of boxing legend Mike Tyson could balance out any technical deficiencies. “He will give confidence, emotional intelligence, technical intelligence, all those things to Ngannou, who’s got nothing to lose,” Gareth observed.
In a tale fit for the stars, two celestial bodies in the twilight of their careers are set to collide. Their own physical and emotional gravities pull them towards what promises to be a spectacular event, with repercussions echoing long after the final bell tolls. Whether you’re a boxing purist or an MMA fanatic, this bout offers something for everyone — a collision of worlds, a test of ageing titans, and the raw thrill that comes when two immense forces meet.