Fury vs Ngannou prediction time..find me the person, there has to be one, who thinks Francis Ngannou pulls off the upset of the year (decade?) and defeats Tyson Fury at “The Battle of the Baddest” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia tomorrow.
OK, maybe we get one or two jokers who pick the Cameroon-born MMAer to have his hand raised in a jaw dropper shocker in front of the most massive display of fight game royalty gathered in one place since who knows when.
They'd be doing that just for giggles, right, just in case the impossible happens and the 0-0 pugilist gets the victory?
Me, I'm not gonna be that person regarding my Fury vs Ngannou prediction.
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Fury should be able to do what he wants, when he wants, because he's able to do that against long-time practitioners of this art, let alone a 37 year old who took up fighting at 22, and boxing just recently.
Yep, it has to help to have Mike Tyson giving pointers. Maybe the ghosts who were there when Buster Douglas–who is in Riyadh–upset Iron Mike in Japan will touch down in Saudi and cause some mayhem.
Fury will start turning it up in the fourth or so, and it will go a round or two more after that. Fury by stoppage, fifth or sixth round.
What about the crew, the NYF squad and extended fam. Who wins and how, Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, in “The Battle of the Baddest?”
GAYLE FALKENTHAL, media: Caveat emptor, boxing fans. This fight is all for show and all for the dough.
Fury will not in any way risk his shot at unifying the heavyweight titles against Oleksandr Usyk in eight weeks (or so) by allowing Ngannou to be a threat.
Ngannou gets to live his dream of a big-time boxing title fight. He will enjoy the ring walk pageantry.
Once he hears the opening bell, Ngannou will feel the heat from Fury and go home with the biggest payday of his long career.
This is why MMA fighters want to be boxers. Fury KO 4.
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RYAN O'HARA, media: Mayweather-McGregor with bigger dudes. Fury dances and screws around, makes Ngannou look like fool. My Fury vs Ngannou prediction–once he gets bored, Fury turns the lights out. Night.
DAVID PHILLIPS, media: Since KOing Wilder a little over two years ago, Fury’s career has been a combination of risk-averse tune up level fights and not all that artful dodging of higher level opponents.
This fight is no different. Fury is just fighting another guy we all know he can and will beat.
The only question is how sloppy he looks before getting serious and dispatching Ngannou.
I’m guessing this less than exciting match up (I’m being kind here) ends in the eight, with Fury scoring a forgettable TKO over another inferior opponent.
MATTHEW AGUILAR, media: A heavyweight boxing champ against a guy who isn’t a boxer.
This is silly. Who cares.
TOMMY RAINONE, ex fighter, betting expert: Fury by stoppage between 4-6. He will take his time early and make Ngannou miss while keeping him at the end of his jab.
As the rounds progress he will up the tempo and apply more pressure pushing his man onto the back foot and stamina, self belief and composure will all dwindle away as the cream rises to the top.
Forget all the toe to toe tell from Fury who can’t risk a cut or hand injury with a huge unification with Usyk in December.
He will marinate his food and eat it the second it’s tender.
MATT POMARA, media: Ngannou has a puncher's chance…but that is all he has.
Look for Fury to keep him on the jab most of the night and take him out in the later rounds.
The bigger question is not the outcome, it is what John Fury will do to try and get in a fight with Mike Tyson.
ERIK SLOAN, media: Fury by TKO. 6th round if I had to guess, might be being generous with that though.
PAUL MALIGNAGGI, media: I think Fury walks down Francis much the same way he walked down Deontay in their second fight.
MMA guys are a bit awkward and it's never worth taking a puncher too jokingly, especially awkward ones.
Plus punchers typically don't punch well backing up.
I look for Fury to back Francis up with a hard accurate jab and putting some punches together on him as he keeps backing up.
Eventually starting to maul him and stopping him in 5 or 6 rounds.
TERRY LANE, promoter: This is the boxing version of going to your friend’s “intro to improv” show. Fury wins, he will be busy trying to make this entertaining.
ED ODEVEN, media: Expect dull periods to dominate the fight, with both men prancing and staring down the other.
It's an awkward matchup, but in the end Fury will land a sequence of punches to drop Ngannou to the canvas to end it in the 3-to-5 round range.