Tyson Fury against Francis Ngannou, the boxing fight without sporting interest which fascinates the public

Tyson Fury (left) and Francis Ngannou, during a pre-fight press conference, September 7, 2023, in London.

For boxing fans, it’s a fight as incongruous as it is annoying. The world heavyweight champion, the fanciful Briton Tyson Fury, will face the former title holder of the UFC – the main mixed martial arts (MMA) league –, the Cameroonian Francis Ngannou, Saturday October 28 , in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The meeting, scheduled for ten rounds, will obey the rules of the noble art and Fury will not put his WBC belt (one of the four main international boxing federations) into play.

Boxing and MMA are combat sports, and the comparison pretty much ends there. Equipped with gloves weighing approximately 283 grams, the boxers face each other with punches in a ring, generally in twelve rounds of three minutes. For its part, MMA mixes English boxing, Thai boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, karate, judo and even grappling (throw, immobilization and submission). Both opponents are equipped with mitts weighing approximately 113 grams and fight in an octagonal cage for five five-minute rounds.

“Fury versus Ngannou is like pitting Usain Bolt against each other [considéré comme le meilleur sprinteur de l’histoire] to a marathon champion »says Jean-Charles Aivadian, creator and host of the Boxing Attitude YouTube channelwho judges this fight all the more “frustrating” that the combat is not enough to delight purists who aspire to greater challenges. The native of Manchester (33 victories, including 24 by knockout, 0 defeats, 1 draw) easily defeated his last opponents, the modest Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora, in April and December 2022. An agreement was finally reached, at the end of September, for a world belt unification fight between Fury and the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk (who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles). But we will probably have to wait a little longer because, for the moment, no date has been set.

Certainly, Ngannou, nicknamed “The Predator” (17 victories, including 12 by knockout, 3 defeats), has forged, at 37, a reputation as a big hitter. “He has better punching technique than most MMA fightersconfirms Jean-Charles Aivadian. From there to imagine that he manages to take Fury out of his comfort zone for his first boxing match…”

Because Fury, 35, is not only the reigning world champion: the “Gypsy King” (he comes from a gypsy family) is considered one of the best heavyweights of all time. You must not let yourself be fooled by your belly. The Briton, who does not hide his immoderate love for beer, is an unparalleled pugilist, mastering to perfection the art of feinting, defense and countering – one of his specialties. Fast and precise, he also has an impressive reach as well as exceptional mobility for his physique (2.06 m, 125 kg). “Most boxers of this size are quite clumsy and lack lightness. Fury moves by hopping from the first to the last round, even though he has very thin legs compared to his size.notes the host of Boxing Attitude.

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