Francis Ngannou is certain that a huge crossover fight with Tyson Fury will happen, despite being under contract with the UFC.
The heavyweight champion is desperate for a clash with the ‘Gypsy King’ but only Conor McGregor has been permitted those kind of extra curricular activities by the UFC, for his 2017 fight against Floyd Mayweather.
Ngannou, who defends his title against Ciryl Gane next Saturday night, says he is ‘sure’ he will fight Fury at some point.
Francis Ngannou is certain that a fight with Tyson Fury will be in his near future
He told DAZN: ‘Yeah, I do believe that that fight will happen. I think Tyson Fury wants that fight to happen too, so eventually it will happen at some point.
‘I can’t say specifically when but for sure it’s gonna happen since we both are willing to make that fight happen.’
He is currently locked in a contract dispute with the UFC, who are playing hardball, with Dana White telling the Cameroonian fighter he is free to go elsewhere after his deal ends.
But he would like to fight Fury with the UFC’s backing. He added: ‘It’s not like freely go have a boxing match but more so I would like something like Conor and Mayweather did.
‘I think it would be more viral with the supporting that, with the UFC behind that. Anything that you do with the UFC behind, I think it’s gonna be huge…’
Fury has expressed an interest in a boxing champion vs UFC champion fight at some point
‘From where we are, nothing is safe to say…. Yes (no boxing is a deal-breaker). I’m 35 years old, bro. It’s not like I have a lifetime ahead of me.
‘I’m very aware of my age and the stage of my career and if I really want to do this, I think it’s time to do it. But I don’t see why that shouldn’t be possible for them as well.’
Last week, Fury tweeted a picture of himself next to Ngannou with the words: ‘He tweeted: ‘Who would like to see me fight this beast boxing rules @ufc gloves?’
Ngannou then responded: ‘How about MMA rules with boxing gloves? I can do you that favor.
To which Fury replied: ‘You want to come in to my world calling me & Wilder out to a boxing match. What I can guarantee is you would be knocked out & also paid your highest purse to be so! So have a think.’
‘After I handle business on Jan. 22,’ Ngannou retorted, ‘I’ll fight you under any special rule set you want. In a ring, an octagon or a phone booth.’
UFC president Dana White is unlikely to sanction the cross-over bout with one of his stars