Mike Tyson to train Francis Ngannou for Tyson Fury clash

Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou will box Fury in Saudi Arabia in October

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Thursday 03 August 2023 15:14 BST
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Mike Tyson has joined Francis Ngannou’s coaching team ahead of the MMA star’s boxing match with Tyson Fury.

Ngannou, who vacated the UFC heavyweight title upon leaving the promotion this year, will box WBC heavyweight champion Fury in Saudi Arabia on 28 October.

Ngannou, 36, last fought in January 2022, retaining the UFC title with a decision win against ex-teammate Ciryl Gane. The Cameroonian is due to make his debut in the Professional Fighters League next year, and as part of his deal with the UFC’s rival promotion, he is able to box on the side.

Ngannou is widely seen as the most devastating puncher in the history of the UFC’s heavyweight division, while Tyson, 57, carried the same reputation during his time as world heavyweight champion in boxing.

“It is no secret I back Ngannou 100 per cent in this face-off of champions,” Tyson said on Thursday (3 August). “He has one hard punch, and when it lands, it’s game over. I am looking forward to working with Ngannou and supporting his transition from the Octagon to the boxing ring.

“He isn’t a combat novice, he is a world champion. He knows how to compete when the bell rings, but the key will be combining his energy and combat skills into his punches, and using his agility to move swiftly around the ring then delivering the knockout blow. We’re here to win.”

Meanwhile, Ngannou said: “Bringing Mike Tyson into my training camp is one of the best decisions I can make to prepare for Tyson Fury. Mike Tyson is an idol of mine in the sport, his experience and boxing IQ will be important to honing my technique under his guidance to win this super-fight.

“I’ve been wanting this fight for years, and now that it’s here, I’m focused on fighting the greatest fight of my career and shocking the world on the most epic stage for the fans in Riyadh. On 28 October, the world will know who’s the baddest man on the planet.”

Briton Fury last fought in December, retaining the WBC title against Derek Chisora with a late TKO. The result saw Fury, 34, stay unbeaten while securing a third win against his compatriot.

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