There have been millions of words written and spoken about Francis Ngannou possessing the one punch power to shock the world and knock out WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ which takes place in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Mike Tyson has been training MMA superstar, Ngannou, for the massive crossover clash and although he knows a thing or two about power punching, ‘Iron’ Mike knows that Ngannou will need more than a big right hand to beat ‘The Gypsy King.’
The former undisputed heavyweight champion was a teenage prodigy but did all he could to ensure his success by following a brutal training regime. Tyson linked up with Cus D’Amato as a 13-year-old phenomenon and less than eight years later he ruled the heavyweight division. Tyson and D’Amato worked relentlessly on technique and conditioning, forging outstanding raw materials into a fighting machine.
However good Ngannou’s boxing ability proves to be on Saturday night, there are absolutely no doubts about his physical gifts. When Tyson was charged with overseeing Ngannou’s preparation for the massive event, he reverted to what he knows best and has put Ngannou through the mill.
“I can’t believe I’m a part of this. I never had the chance to be involved in anything close to this magnitude,” Tyson said when TNT Sports visited Ngannou’s training camp.
“I didn’t think it’d go too well at first. We trained - I thought we trained hard - and the next day we had an interview and I said , ‘How do you feel? You feel a little sore?’ and he said, ‘No, I feel great.’ Wow. That’s a big mistake, you shouldn’t have told me that. He came back and trained that day and he didn’t say that. I wanted to work until he couldn’t go no more. I said, ‘That’s what heavyweight champs do. A heavyweight champion, when they don’t have no more left they keep going.’”
Tyson is a boxing expert and will be under no illusions about the size of the task Ngannou faces this weekend but if he has been impressed by his determination to improve, he has been taken aback by the sense of destiny that Ngannou operates with.
"The belief in himself that he came from Cameroon and it’s for a reason,” Tyson said. “This doesn’t happen to people. They come here and win another championship in another genre and then they fight the heavyweight champion of the world? That doesn’t happen. That’s not how it’s supposed to happen. That’s some divine s__t or whatever.”