Francis Ngannou could have gone about business and done just fine financially. At the time, the former UFC heavyweight champion was cashing fairly hefty checks and scoring highlight-reel-level knockouts. Yet, when his UFC deal expired, instead of resigning, Ngannou pivoted.
Considering the amount of money he could make by crossing over to the world of boxing, Ngannou simply couldn't pass up on the opportunity. Officially, the hard-hitting boxing newbie will make his debut on October 28th, when he takes on current WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.
By and large, Ngannou knows that he’s in for a long night. If the soon-to-be 37-year-old finds himself in trouble, he won’t be able to drag Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) down to the mat and submit him. Nor will he be able to head-kick him.
"He's good at coming back up," Ngannou said to TMZ. "We gonna find out how good he is -- but he's gonna hit that canvas.
"I'm super ready. I'm very excited about that fight. I'm getting ready. From Saturday, we're 9 weeks out, a good amount of time to get those hands fast [and] strong."
Forced to get it done using just his fists, Ngannou has called in a favor from one of boxing’s top guns.
Mike Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer, is spending countless hours training Ngannou. The two have always had a relationship but with the former UFC champ venturing off into new territory, Tyson believed he could do more than simply issue a motivational speech or two.
According to oddsmakers and virtually everyone around the sport, Tyson’s help will do nothing to stop Ngannou from kissing the canvas. To a large extent, Ngannou is expected to receive a large sum of money, accept a relentless beatdown, and eventually head back to mixed martial arts.
Tyson, on the other hand, doesn’t view things in that light. During a recent interview with ESNEWS, he was asked to give his thoughts on how he expects Ngannou to do against a man he has deep respect for. Without the slightest hesitation, Tyson revealed that Ngannou will be ready to do the unthinkable.
“We're gonna shock the world.”