Things haven’t worked out too badly for Francis Ngannou since walking away from the UFC. He was the reigning heavyweight champion but decided there was more money to be made competing away from the octagon.
Ngannou secured a boxing match with the best heavyweight on the planet and is reportedly set to earn $10 million USD for his fight with Tyson Fury this weekend. The two men face off in Saudi Arabia and the mixed martial artist says it is a dream come true,
“I’m living a dream. This has always been my dream. It wasn’t easy, but we are here.”
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 26, 2023
Dream come true
While the matchup was totally unexpected it did not take Ngannou by surprise. He has been openly discussing the possibility of fighting Tyson Fury for the past four years,
“This is a dream come true. I remember four years ago when I first met Mike Tyson my only request was for him to be in my corner if I fight Tyson Fury.”
Mike Tyson has been helping Ngannou prepare for a fight that few think he has a realistic chance of winning. It is his first time competing under boxing rules but the Cameroonian believes it is his opponent who is taking the risk,
“I want to thank Tyson Fury for taking the fight and taking this risk because there is a lot of risk here for him. He might go to sleep on Saturday night. But I appreciate his courage, and I thank him.”
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 26, 2023
Given that this is Ngannou’s boxing debut there is no surprise that he says this fight camp has been ‘different’. He thinks that the experience of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has helped,
“This camp has been different from my past camps. It’s a different experience, a different beast. I was aware that there was a mountain in front of me, so that’s why we started the camp a lot earlier. Having somebody like Mike Tyson around and my coach Dewey Cooper was very helpful in terms of approaching this fight.”
When Ngannou first started talking about potentially fighting Fury no-one paid him any attention,
“People thought I was losing it. They thought I was crazy. They thought it would never happen. But here we are.”
He might come into Saturday’s fight in Saudi Arabia as a massive underdog but Ngannou has nothing to lose. He stands to gain somewhere n the region of ten million dollars and whatever happens this weekend it is going to be the biggest payday of the 37 year old’s career.