The boxing world will finally get what they’ve been waiting for, with Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk signing a contract to unify the heavyweight championship belts. However, amidst the chaos of the announcement, many have forgotten Fury is set to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on 28th October. Could the boxing world, including Fury, be overlooking the power puncher?
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 29, 2023
Fury Expected to Cruise to Victory
Rather unsurprisingly, Fury is a huge sports betting favourite heading into the fight. The Gypsy King can be backed at 1/12, while Ngannou is a massive 7/1 underdog. Every boxing fan, and probably the majority of MMA fans, will be expecting a classic Fury exhibition.
After all, Fury is one of the greatest heavyweight boxers the world has ever seen. And it’s not like he’s a stranger to fighting big hitters either. Deontay Wilder is among the most powerful punchers the sport has witnessed. Fury beat him twice and many would argue he should have won the first bout too.
While boxing is made easier with natural power, nothing is more crucial to the art than fight IQ, and Fury has perhaps the greatest fight IQ we’ve ever seen. Couple that with his fast footwork and head movement and you have the recipe for an extraordinary boxer.
Although Ngannou is the man touted as having the power advantage, Fury will be looking to put on a show and is priced as more likely to end the fight via KO/TKO (1/6) than to win on points (15/2). The odds calculator shows that a £10 bet on Fury to win via decision would return £85, £75 of which is profit.
It is the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight’s volume that tends to end fights, with his opponents increasingly fading the longer fights continue. He comes into this bout with four consecutive KO/TKO victories, including back-to-back wins against Wilder and convincing victories against fellow Brits Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora.
Could Fury Overlook Ngannou?
Ngannou’s biggest hope of getting his hand raised in this fight is if Fury has one eye on the Usyk bout and overlooks him. Even then, this is a whole different world for the Cameroonian-born MMA star.
Ngannou could also be suffering from a little ring rust. His last fight was in January 2022, when he defended the UFC heavyweight title against Frenchman Ciryl Gane. He will no doubt have been sparring in the build-up to this mammoth clash, but there really is no substitute for competitive bouts.
Ngannou has a puncher’s chance. He is among the most powerful boxers ever in MMA, yet it remains to be seen how that power will translate from 4oz to 12oz gloves. The biggest problem for the newly signed Professional Fighters League star is that he will have to find a way to land shots.
Fury is famously elusive and will use all his experience, bobbing and weaving, and tying up Ngannou in a clinch when things get too close for comfort. If he can get his hands on Fury, Ngannou will fancy his chances of shutting the boxer’s lights out early on. However, many have tried and many have failed to get a hold of the undefeated heavyweight champ.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) September 8, 2023
When and Where is the Fight?
Fury vs Ngannou will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a place that has become increasingly popular for huge boxing events. The showdown is set for Saturday 28th October.