Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, Then What? Fury vs Usyk?



Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, Then What? Fury vs Usyk?

We know Tyson Fury is booked for Oct. 28, he’s fighting MMAer Francis Ngannou in a “spectacle” bout in Saudi Arabia.

That is what it is, it’s a new era, with thinking done outside the boxes so to speak, and yeah, it is what it is.

Once this promotion finishes up, what then for Fury?

He’s 35, and yeah, you may have noticed, he is sometimes all over the place regarding future plans.

Folks thought they’d get that long awaited Tyson Fury clash with Anthony Joshua this year, maybe. And some folks thought that Fury would sign on to meet Oleksandr Usyk, and unify da belts this year.

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou

Fury to face Ngannou, and then? Joshua? Usyk? Time will tell….

Bob Arum On Tyson Fury Next Fight

I asked promoter Bob Arum, who works with Fury, in conjunction with old pal Frank Warren, about what’s next post Ngannou. “The fight to do after this is Tyson and Usyk,” Arum told me. “I know the Saudis have contacted Egis Klimas and the Usyk people, who are on board. I know Tyson Fury is on board. Assuming this goes well, that’ll be next.” End of 2023, or beginning of 2024, he shared.

Arum has been busy, piling up his frequent flyer points. He’s in the UK, and will fly back to the States Sunday.

“Be back in time hopefully to watch the Giants, versus the Cowboys,” said the Brooklyn-born deal-maker.

Top Rank Has Defenses From Luis Lopez, Janibek

He talked up TR’s near-term shows, which include a Sept 15 event in Corpus Christi, Texas, topped by a Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez IBF world title defense against former two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez at American Bank Center.

Top Rank has Lopez vs Gonzalez Sept 15

In the 10-round junior middleweight co-feature, Xander Zayas takes on Mexico’s Roberto Valenzuela Jr. Lopez-Gonzalez and Zayas-Valenzuela screens on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10p.m. ET/7p.m. PT.

Top Rank All About Texas

Top Rank is all about Texas right now, they are back in that state for the Saturday, Oct.14 card topped by Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly. He’s an under radar guy, he’s in a division which is not making waves currently, middleweight.

The reigning WBO world champion meets IBF world champion Vincenzo Gualtieri in a title unification showdown at Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas. In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, Keyshawn Davis takes on Nahir Albright.

Janibek-Gualtieri and Davis-Albright screens on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Janibek is the best middleweight in the world,” said Arum, after touching on what's next for Tyson Fury.

Janibek Waits For Division To Heat Up

Janibek (14-0, 9 KOs) is from Kazakhstan. He captured the WBO interim middleweight world title last May, beating Danny Dignum and was elevated to world champ after Demetrius Andrade vacated the title.

Janibek has made two defenses, beating Brit Denzel Bentley and then Canadian contender Steven Butler via second-round stoppage in May.

Gualtieri is 21-0-1, 7 KOs, he captured the vacant IBF middleweight world title against then-undefeated Brazilian Esquiva Falcao.

That division is under radar, Arum agreed. “This will unify two titles, look, the middleweight division has been under the radar in a lot of eras, then Hagler came along, and it became one of the top divisions. Hopefully that’ll happen again. After Rosenberg, I’m going to Saudi Arabia.”

Arum Talks Up Ngannou Power

Arum did the right thing, and talked up the Tyson Fury v Ngannou fight. “Nagannou really impressed me at the press conference, he’s a real gentleman, it should be very interesting event. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t been trained in boxing. To fight a guy like Tyson..I’ve watched his tapes on UFC, he has tremendous punching power.”

Arum also looks forward to seeing Robesiy Ramirez opening up a new arena in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in November. His momo has been building, the Cuban is a talent and with ambition to match his skill set, it looks like. Arum: “Then Thursday, Nov. 18, there’s Formula 1 in Vegas, and we’ll have Shakur Stevenson versus Frank Martin, with Jared Anderson in the co-main.”

We looked to the end of the calendar, too, with Arum noting that Top Rank returns to NY in December. He hopes to have Teofimo Lopez in a building in NYC, to soak up some Heisman buzz on ESPN.

Man is 91, and taking care of business.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.