According to former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, he's been bombarded with calls to return to the ring in the wake of Tyson Fury's performance against Francis Ngannou.

Wilder has been out of action since October of 2022, when he knocked out Robert Helenius in a single round.

Fury, who fought Wilder three times, had struggles in winning a ten round split decision over Ngannou last month in Saudi Arabia.

During the fight, Fury was dropped in the third round, he was cut on the forehead and his left eye was badly bruised. The bout, which many had expected to play out as a complete mismatch, became a very competitive encounter.

“I didn’t even get to watch the [Fury-Ngannou] fight,” Wilder said to Blue Blood Sports TV. "I had a lot of texts and people calling me about it, especially when he got dropped. After the fight a lot of people were figuring out what was going on, ‘Maybe he did cheat [in your fight], maybe he did have something in his gloves.

"All these things are coming up now. Everybody’s saying he lost and, ‘Deontay we need you back,’ and how boring boxing is, the heavyweight division is crumbling and falling. I’m coming.”

Wilder and his handlers are interested in a potential clash with Ngannou - and there is some talk of a 'mixed rules' contest. Wilder has even entertained the idea of crossing over to do a fight in MMA. 

Ngannou believes Wilder is serious about his interest in doing MMA, but he expects the transition to become a difficult a one.

"He’s really serious about MMA. I know a lot of people talk, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this in boxing and do that in MMA but I think Deontay Wilder is very interested in MMA, Again, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a different beast for him. Unlike this time, that I was the one experiencing climbing the mountain, he’s going to be the one climbing the mountain," Ngannou said on The MMA Hour.