It’ll cost boxing and mixed martial arts fans in the United States about as much to watch Tyson Fury presumably beat Francis Ngannou as when Fury opposes Oleksandr Usyk in a much more significant fight next.
ESPN announced that the suggested price point for its pay-per-view show October 28 that’ll feature Fury-Ngannou is $79.99. The five-fight Fury-Ngannou show will be available via ESPN+, the network’s streaming service, as well as traditional cable and satellite providers in the U.S.
TNT Sports Box Office will offer the Fury-Ngannou pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom and Ireland, reportedly for £19.95.
The undefeated Fury, who owns the WBC heavyweight title, is listed by FanDuel sportsbook as a 13-1 favorite to beat Cameroon’s Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion with little boxing experience, in their 10-round exhibition two weeks from Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
England’s Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) drew criticism from boxing fans and media that covers the sport because his fight with Ngannou will represent his first action since he dominated Dereck Chisora (34-13, 23 KOs) on his way to stopping the veteran heavyweight in the 10th round of their WBC title fight last December 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Fury has agreed since the Ngannou bout was announced, however, to box Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 13 KOs) in his following fight.
The date of Fury-Usyk will be determined after Fury faces Ngannou, but it could be scheduled for as soon as December 23. Bob Arum, whose company co-promotes Fury, told BoxingScene.com recently that Fury-Usyk also could be scheduled for early in 2024, sometime before Ramadan – the Muslim month for fasting, prayer and reflection – begins March 10.
Unless it results in a draw or no-contest, the 12-round bout between Fury, 35, and Usyk, 36, will crown boxing’s first fully unified heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.
The pay-per-view portion of the Fury-Ngannou undercard will feature four heavyweight bouts.
Unbeaten Brits Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) and David Adeleye (12-0, 11 KOs) are scheduled to square off in the 12-round co-feature. In the 10-round bout before Wardley goes up against Adeleye, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs), a former WBO champion, will encounter Quebec’s Simon Kean (23-1, 22 KOs).
The undercard will also showcase Russian-born, Montreal-based contender Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder against American Junior Anthony Wright (20-4-1, 17 KOs), of Evanston, Illinois. The pay-per-view show will start with 18-year-old British prospect Moses Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) against an opponent to be determined in a six-rounder.
Fury-Ngannou coverage is set to begin at 2 p.m. EDT and 11 a.m. PDT in the United States.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.