Pro boxers pick their winner of Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou
Ahead of this weekend's 'Battle of the Baddest', BBN put together a list of all the predictions from pro boxers – past and present – for an in-depth guide as to who wins this weekend's huge showdown in Saudi between Lineal boxing champion Tyson Fury and Lineal UFC king Francis Ngannou.
Hear from the experts…
Oleksandr Usyk Unified world heavyweight champion
“This bout is bread and butter for Tyson Fury. This is my attitude with regards to boxing. And when someone’s saying that Ngannou can drop him I probably would agree, but I’m really not certain. Tell me how could the guy with no experience in boxing beat a giant who’s been in boxing for 20 years?
“Yes, Ngannou is a UFC champion, I’m not disputing it. But UFC isn’t boxing. I’m 100% sure that Tyson Fury will be victorious. If Ngannou relatively has a puncher’s chance, and if he hypothetically happens to send Fury tumbling to the canvas, I’ll concede talking gibberish.”
Amir Khan Former unified super-lightweight world champion
“Realistically, Fury is going to win because he’s going to win because he’s the boxer, but Ngannou has got the puncher’s chance in this fight.”
Derek Chisora Two-time world title contender
“That’s a big fight. Tyson is going to win it, but I think Tyson is going to get dropped by Ngannou.”
David HayeFormer two-weight world champion
“I think Fury is good enough to make it entertaining, or he could go out there like he did with Deontay Wilder the second time and just smoke him.
“I’d like him to drag it out six/seven rounds, bust him up and show why there is a difference between professional boxers and MMA fighters.”
Bermane StiverneFormer WBC World heavyweight champion
“There’s a guy in Francis Ngannou that has never had any boxing experience and has jumped into it with his first professional fight even though he is an MMA fighter against the king of the sport in Tyson Fury. My thoughts on it is that it’s really obvious, I don’t think Tyson Fury is going to have any problems taking care of Francis Ngannou. Just like if Tyson went into Francis Ngannou’s backyard, he wouldn’t have any problems with Tyson Fury. I do believe that Fury is going to take care of business.
“I believe Tyson Fury knocks him out. This is the heavyweight division though and everyone has a punchers chance, but the power is irrelevant at this point. It can go both ways, but you need to look at it with a different perspective. This is Tyson Fury’s backyard, he’s been there, done that and knows how to box. Francis Ngannou has just started boxing even though he is the king of MMA, it is not the same thing and it is not the same discipline or rules it is different. When it comes to Francis Ngannou’s power, it is irrelevant. I don’t think it matters; you can’t hit what you can’t see.”
Johnny NelsonFormer cruiserweight world champion
“I'll say it again, Tyson Fury is officially the best heavyweight in the world right now. As far as I'm concerned for Tyson Fury, he’s in a position he's doing what fighters do, he's a prize fighter.
“He's making a hell of a lot of money getting in there with a guy that's never had a professional fight, but the interest is there. The attention's there, the public want to see it and so therefore he's getting the job done. He'll take the criticism, but we're in this game to make money. We're in this game to be champions, to be the best.
“Now there'll be only so many gimmies where his fans will accept this kind of stuff. This is a gimmick to me. I think Francis Ngannou has got a punchers chance, but I would be very, very surprised if anything bar a Tyson inside a distant stoppage happens.”
Paulie Malignaggi Former two-weight world champion
“Mike Tyson will have absolutely no impact on Francis Ngannou whatsoever. Absolutely none. Tyson is there as a headline maker, to sell more pay per views. The MMA fans unfortunately are the least intelligent in all of professional sports.
“Because of that, they will think the Mike Tyson situation will make a difference and spur Ngannou on. When in reality, anyone who understands real boxing knows that to use Tyson style you have to be short. The head bobbing that Tyson does, that's not for tall guys.
“It's actually counterproductive for tall guys. Ngannou is shorter but not that much shorter and honestly, I don't think Ngannou has the quickness of a small guy to use Tyson's tactics on the way in. When you're as big as Tyson Fury he's just going to do what Lennox Lewis did and push their head down if they get too close.
“If Ngannou does get by his defenses with that head movement, he'll just push his head down and the ref will break it. I'm happy for Ngannou that he's getting paid because Dana White is an absolute pig for not paying their fighters what they're worth. But I think Ngannou is going to end up taking a beating for the money.”
Antonio TarverFormer light-heavyweight champion
“I love Tyson Fury. He is one of the most interesting characters in the sport and I think someone with a personality like that has done boxing great. When you look at the attention that this fight with Francis Ngannou is getting, and how the boxing world is moving towards the Middle East and investing a lot of money into boxing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more American world champions taking their fights abroad to become more of an international fighter like Tyson Fury.
“When you look at a guy as strong and as power as Francis Ngannou, I don’t know if he hits more powerful than Wilder, but that punch could be a little different. One of those thudding punches you underestimate in terms of power from Ngannou and then when it lands, it’s too late.
“Even in this exhibition fight, it’s how Tyson Fury does it. Does he look good at doing it, is he still the Gypsy King? He could still win and lose in a fight like this because of the performance. People don’t even think this should be a fight because of the experience Tyson Fury has. I don’t know how serious Tyson Fury is taking this, but he has 200 million reasons to get more serious with the Usyk fight in the background.
“I don’t see Tyson Fury having a problem if he goes in there, gets behind that jab, comes in and shows Francis Ngannou that he means business, and isn’t here to play. If so, I think he looks good and does what he wants to do. But if he isn’t in this type of shape physically and mentally to fight off a big strong and determined guy like Francis Ngannou then this fight could get sketchy in parts before it’s over. If Tyson Fury really delves in, everything is in Tyson Fury’s hands in how this fight turns out.”
Carl Froch Former super-middleweight world champion
“Bringing Mike Tyson in has brought more interest to it, it's like he's glamorized the event. Wherever he goes he's like a god. He f****** mad, brilliant fighter and the ultimate fighting machine. There's an argument to say Mike Tyson would give Tyson Fury a better fight than Francis Ngannou. He's got all of that experience, he's an old man, but he'd give Tyson Fury more of a fight for two or three rounds than Francis Ngannou is going to manage. The trainer has got more of a chance than Ngannou, 100 percent. He has, hasn't he? You can't argue with that.
“Listen, this is a f****** sparring session, probably the easiest spar he's ever had. I don't care that Ngannou can punch, a mule can kick really hard, but he’s never going to be able to line it up. Fury’s not going to be worried about getting hit by that monstrous punch because I've seen Ngannou on the pads and he looks terrible. He looks like what I'd expect a zero fight novice to look like. Ngannou looked slow, awkward, stiff – how is he going to get near Fury? He's going to get his head absolutely peppered off.”
Roy Jones Jr.Former four-weight world champion
“You have to love Fury versus Ngannou. Everybody else is doing it, why can't he? It's an interesting fight. If Ngannou hits you it could be fatal. He can punch and if he catches you right he can be a problem. He hasn't had any pro boxing experience, but he does have fighting experience and he knows how to punch – so fighting experience, he knows how to punch, and Dewey Cooper and Mike Tyson are training him – they are going to put him in position to land that one shot he needs. And in boxing, guess what, it only takes one.
“Mike Tyson will try to turn Francis Ngannou into a wrecking machine, that's what he needs to be and why he probably brought Tyson in, you can't stand outside and box Tyson Fury, he's going to kill you, so you got to go in there and try and wreck him and if you don't you're going to lose. In a 12 round boxing match, there's no way you can beat Fury. He knows too much and that's what he does, so you have got to turn into a Mike Tyson style wrecking ball.”
Mike Tyson Former undisputed heavyweight world champion
“We’re going to shock the world. If he [Ngannou] hits him, it will be a knockout. He has what it takes to knock out anything or anybody standing in his way. Once he lands a punch on Tyson Fury's jaw he is going to knock him out too. Nobody can survive that.”
Jake Paul YouTuber & pro boxer
“I’m just excited for Francis to be getting his opportunity and to be showing other fighters, particularly from the UFC, that they can break out of there and make their own lane. He’s finally getting the pay he deserves but it’s definitely going to be a tough challenge.
“I’ve fought all of these MMA fighters and none of them have been able to do anything against me. Tyson is going to bring the smoke but Francis has that one-punch knockout power so we’ll see if he can land on Tyson. It’s going to be a good fight and I’m excited for it.”
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