Tyson Fury’s interest in a crossover bout with Francis Ngannou has not waned following the UFC heavyweight champion’s successful title defence against Ciryl Gane.
Ngannou, widely considered to be the greatest power-puncher in UFC history, stunned fans and pundits on Saturday as he employed an unexpected wrestling gameplan to outpoint former teammate Gane in the main event of UFC 270.
In doing so, French-Cameroonian Ngannou unified the heavyweight titles and handed interim champion Gane his first professional defeat.
While Ngannou, 35, did not produce the kind of spectacular knockout that many felt he would need to win – and to boost interest in a boxing clash with Fury – he crucially maintained his status as the “baddest man on the planet”.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury took to Twitter to react, writing: “Congrats @francis_ngannou but if you want to make some real money come see the GK [‘Gypsy King’].”
In his post-fight interview at UFC 270, Ngannou reiterated his interest in a return to his boxing roots.
“Boxing is always in the back of my pocket, it’s something I must do before the end of my career,” Ngannou said.
“It’s not like I have a lifetime here.”
The French-Cameroonian is believed to have one more fight on his current UFC deal, though he has insisted he will no longer fight for “$500,000 or $600,000” amid a pay dispute with the promotion’s president Dana White.
Fury and Ngannou have traded words on Twitter in recent weeks, with the former proposing a boxing match with the UFC’s smaller gloves, before Ngannou suggested an MMA bout with boxing gloves.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies