The mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor had a lot of fanfare behind it before the boxers entered the ring. As a double champ in the UFC, McGregor was known as a knockout artist who laid waste to all of his opponents in the octagon. His success, and the image that he’d built for himself through shrewd marketing, made millions of people around the world believe that McGregor stood a real chance against one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Well, we all remember how that turned out. Mayweather let McGregor have a bit of fun in the first few rounds before methodically taking over in the middle rounds, exposing the gulf in skill between the two. The fight was capped off with a 10th round knockout by the then 40-year-old boxer, his first stoppage in years.
Since then, there’s been a rise in former MMA fighters stepping into the cage, especially against Jake Paul. Paul, a young boxer and YouTuber, has stepped in the ring with Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz and has come out on top. Sure, those fights felt like sideshows because all of those fighters were over the hill, but it’s not like Paul is a boxer who’s been training all of his life.
Hell, even his less experienced brother Logan Paul recently clowned Dillon Danis, another loudmouthed MMA athlete who had no business being in a boxing ring.
So it begs the question, why do fans think that Francis Ngannou, who was the UFC heavyweight champ before his messy divorce from the organization, stands a chance against Tyson Fury?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Ngannou. The path he carved for himself on the way to becoming the heavyweight champion, and then his decision to fight the system and refuse to bend to the UFC’s demands, ended up landing him a lucrative deal with another organization. He’s probably the hardest-hitting heavyweight that the UFC ever had on its roster, and his highlight reel has plenty of examples of him sending people to the shadow realm.
Ngannou is a bad man. There’s no doubt about it. However, Tyson Fury is no joke. Fury is one of the best heavyweights in the world and also has an iron chin. Fury has taken Deontay Wilder’s right hands and gotten back up, a feat that few men in history would have been capable of. Not only that, Fury arguably won their first fight and dominated Wilder in the next two fights of their trilogy. Fury also has a victory over Wladimir Klitchsko, one of the greatest boxers to ever lace them up.
Fury is also extremely talented and technical boxer. He moves faster than his chubby frame should allow him to, and can hit people from any angle. Fury also a height and reach advantage on Ngannou, which doesn’t paint a great picture. When these factors are all taken into account, the task for Ngannou looks even more impossible.
Sure, it’s the heavyweight division, so there’s always a puncher’s chance, but a better boxer with frightening power has already failed to keep Fury on the canvas. The fight should still have its entertaining moments, but Ngannou would truly shock the world with a win.