Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou during their face-off at the pre-fight press conference. Source: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou during their face-off at the pre-fight press conference. Source: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Fury vs Ngannou: Rumble in Riyadh

Boxing Dins Davids Ozols 24.10.2023

In the heart of Saudi Arabia, a dazzling spectacle is set to unfold this Saturday. The world of combat sports is about to witness a spectacular show, with Tyson Fury, the undefeated (33 wins, 1 draw) heavyweight champion of the world, and Francis Ngannou (17-3-0), the former lineal UFC heavyweight champion, taking center stage under a canopy of created rivalry. This larger-than-life event promises to be a historic moment in combat sports, bringing together boxing and MMA’s best to determine who truly is the “Baddest Man on the Planet.”

Fury, with his towering presence and exceptional boxing skills, holds a significant advantage in this showdown conducted under the rules of the British Boxing Board of Control. Here, the MMA arsenal of kicks, chokeholds, and flying elbows will be left at the door, giving Fury the upper hand. However, Ngannou, with his deadly right hand and unconventional training, has more than a puncher’s chance to make this battle intriguing.

The anticipation for this duel increased even more after a promotional video for the fight was released a couple of weeks ago. A cinematic masterpiece, dramatic, and brilliant. The video quickly went viral and has even been branded the best-ever sports promo video. Have a look and judge yourself:

In the midst of the splendor in Riyadh, the 35-year-old Fury will undoubtedly loom large over Ngannou, who, after the anthems and introductions, will feel the heat of Fury’s vicious onslaught. While some may argue that Ngannou possesses a slight chance and the element of surprise, it’s a monumental task to imagine him toppling the giant Fury.

History has witnessed other circus fights involving heavyweight boxers facing unconventional opponents, such as Muhammad Ali’s encounter with the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki and Chuck Wepner taking on Andre The Giant. However, Fury vs Ngannou stands as a legitimate but non-competitive fight, an event where hope and delusion collide. The clash between these titans has generated comparisons to past events like Mike Tyson’s battle with British heavyweight Julius Francis in 2000, which was deemed more an “event” than a fight. The excitement surrounding this fight has already reached a fever pitch, with fans speculating about a potential rematch under MMA rules.

The fight is scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds, scored by three judges, and will take place in a regulation ring under the commission’s oversight, making it a professional boxing match. While Fury’s WBC heavyweight title won’t be on the line, a special “Riyadh Champion” belt awaits the victor. This ensures a legitimate contest with both fighters aiming for a place in history.

Fury’s bold prediction of knocking out Ngannou inside six rounds adds an electrifying element to the showdown. Ngannou, known for his knockout power in the MMA world, is stepping into the unknown territory of professional boxing, making this an even more captivating spectacle. The battle’s size, speed, and strategy are up for debate, as Ngannou and Fury have engaged in a lively exchange of words and intentions during press conferences and interviews. Fury’s commitment to a 12-week training camp underscores the seriousness of his preparations, highlighting the potential challenges he sees in Ngannou’s unorthodox style.

What are the odds?

In his professional boxing debut, Ngannou faces overwhelming odds against the lineal heavyweight champion, but he remains undaunted, driven by his remarkable journey from being doubted in the Octagon to becoming a feared knockout artist and one of the best-ever heavyweights in the UFC. That being said, the 37-year-old Nigerian will enter the fight as a massive (and we mean it) underdog. OlyBet sportsbook has rated his victory at the odds of 8.50, while Fury is favored at 1.05.

Fury vs Ngannou is not just a fight. It’s a promising and extravagant event that will be etched in the annals of combat sports history. As these two champions step into the ring, the world will watch in awe, captivated by the sheer spectacle and the intriguing possibilities of this event. With the event taking place in Saudi Arabia, boxing enthusiasts can follow all the action live at a Baltics-friendly time. As for now, we can only wait, but luckily – Saturday is just around the corner.

Dins Davids Ozols

Dins is a self-raised copywriter whose burning desire for punctuality and correctness of texts has combined with a lifelong passion for sports. He's on a mission to provide OlyBet.TV visitors with content on current sports events. His favorite topics include major football leagues and competitions, NBA, and UFC.