Tyson Fury will fight Francis Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, on Saturday, October 28th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The fight is being pitched as “Baddest Man on the Planet” and yes, it’s a pro bout, regular rules.
Frank Warren/Queensberry, Top Rank and Ngannou’s promotional banner, GIMIK Fight Promotions, are set to work with Riyadh Season on the endeavor.
“The Gypsy King” meets “The Predator” and here’s one angle to it…
“The toughest chin in boxing tested by the Most Powerful Punch in the world, as confirmed by the Guinness World Records,” as per a release, will take place in a regulation boxing ring in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s largest city.
Tyson Fury Says He’s Biggest, Baddest
Tyson Fury: “As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away! This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK.”
Ngannou is 17-3 in MMA; he excelled in UFC, then parted ways with the company as he worked to get larger purses.
“I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights,” said Fury, who has been negotiating and pondering his next move for a long spell. Hardcores were more so hoping he’d sign the test Okeksandr Usyk, but that wasn’t to be.
“I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft. Francis looked tough when he jumped in the ring after the Whyte fight, but there is no one tougher than me, and you’ll all see that in devastating fashion on October 28. I’d like to thank my promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum, my manager Spencer Brown and the guys at Riyadh Season for making this incredible event possible. It’s going to be a fight for the ages. Get up!”
Francis Ngannou, age 36, commented:
“I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years. My dream was always to box, and to box the best. After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet. I’d like to thank Riyadh Season and my team at 3Point0 Labs for helping put this event together. All I will say to Tyson for now is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”
His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of the General Entertainment Authority and Head of Riyadh Season, offered reasons for this event being hatched and placed in this region: “Riyadh Season 2023 is back for its fourth edition of world class experiences and live events — keeping its claim as one of the most anticipated entertainment seasons worldwide. Following its opening ceremony, Riyadh Season 2023 will kick-off with an electrifying boxing match on October 28th, 2023. MMA and boxing audiences will witness the ultimate clash between two champions, Tyson Fury against Francis Ngannou. This face-off will set a new standard for such an event.”
Frank Warren, Queensberry Chairman, sounds pumped. “This heavyweight clash has ‘war’ written all over it,” said the Brit deal maker.
“Tyson Fury is the most exciting heavyweight on the planet. It is a game changer; we didn’t want to wait for Tyson to get out and here we are at Riyadh Season in a super-fight. Tyson is at his best when he is breaking new boundaries and this event is one of a kind. History will be made in Riyadh with a battle of the giants from the two leading codes of combat fighting. Tyson is the true King of the Ring and Francis Ngannou will present an intriguing challenge as he has the much publicized Most Powerful Punch in the world, this guy has a sledgehammer in each hand.”
I admit, I wasn’t aware of the rep of Ngannou…
More Warren. “Can Tyson avoid the sledgehammer all fight? What happens if it lands? It will be a truly spectacular event and Riyadh Season will provide a stage fit for two champions in one boxing ring.”
Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, gave his take: “Tyson Fury is one of the finest heavyweight boxers in history, and he now has an opportunity to lock horns with an MMA legend. This will be a historic event, and we know that Tyson Fury will put on a tremendous fight. The people of Riyadh and fight fans around the world are in for a real treat.”
Marquel Martin, Chief Executive Officer, 3Point0 Labs, offered his thoughts:
“Francis has been defeating the odds since he was born and so has Tyson from what I understand. Both are ‘Kings’ of their respective heavyweight divisions in their primes, and we finally get to see whose head is fit to wear the crown. We have all the respect in the world for Tyson and his team, but they are not accustomed to dealing with a force of nature like Francis. He’s simply BUILT DIFFERENT and I think Tyson will feel that in the Ring come October 28th in Riyadh. History is made here and we’re very much looking forward to shocking the world once again.”
Andrew Cutrow, Chief Business Officer, 3Point0 Labs, set a high bar: “All due respect in the world to a heavyweight fighter of Tyson’s calibre, sitting up there with the Mike Tysons and Muhammad Alis of the world, but there is no one with the will and fight that Francis has. He’s beaten every insurmountable challenge in his life, whether in the ring or in life, and it’s fair to say that NO ONE wants to be on the end of one of his punches. Riyadh should get ready for a fight for the ages – one that will go down in history as one of the greatest sporting events of this generation.”
From a release sent out by promoters:
Tyson Fury background:
The undefeated Fury, 34, the 6-foot-9 self-styled Gypsy King with a record of 33-0-1 (24 KOs), first became unified world heavyweight champion back in November 2015 when he toppled the long-standing ruler Wladimir Klitschko.
Dusseldorf, Germany, was the scene of one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history, when the unified king was befuddled by the bashful Brit. The Ukrainian was completely outfoxed by his younger challenger and Fury wasn't to be denied. Klitschko was parted from his four belts and Lineal champion status.
After a lengthy period out of the ring, Fury teamed up with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren to plot his route back to heavyweight domination and, after just two return fights, he accepted the challenge of taking on the previous WBC champion and biggest puncher in world boxing, Deontay Wilder, in December 2018.
The outcome was a hotly disputed draw, which ensured the Fury-Wilder chapter still had a couple more pages to run. Fury linked up with Top Rank and ESPN in America, and a rematch with Wilder took place in February 2020. Fury took many experts by surprise by stating his intention to meet the ferocious hitter in the centre of the ring.
To that end, he teamed up with old comrade SugarHill Steward in order to maximize his own offensive weapons. True to his word, Fury rocked Wilder and put him down in the third and fifth before the towel came in from Wilder's corner just over halfway through the seventh.
An absolute thriller took place in October 2021 in Las Vegas. Fury picked up where he left off and put Wilder to the canvas in the third before a spirited revival from the ‘Bronze Bomber’ saw Fury down twice in the fourth. The champion prevailed convincingly in the end, with Wilder down the 10th and then out for count in the 11th. An epic trilogy had played out before the eyes of the world.
London was calling when a mandatory defense against WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte was called by the governing body. There was only one place fit to stage the homecoming of The Gypsy King and a packed to the rafters Wembley Stadium became Fury's field of dreams.
Wembley is traditionally known as the ‘Home of Legends' and Fury added his name to the illustrious list with a spectacular sixth-round stoppage in front of 94,000 spectators.
Fury sold out another stadium last December, this time Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with 60,000 people braving the night air to see him overwhelm Derek Chisora for a third time via a 10th-round stoppage in what represented a third defense of his WBC world championship.
Francis Ngannou background:
Ngannou, 36, 17-3 (12 KOs) has a life-story that most wouldn’t believe possible. The 6’4, 280-pound physical specimen, hailing from Batie, a small village in Cameroon, Africa, grew up working in a sand quarry starting from the age of 10.
At 22 years old, harboring a dream to box, Francis decided to leave on foot across the Sahara, traveling on raft across the Strait of Gibraltar on a life-threatening journey, only to find himself homeless on the streets of Paris, walking into a gym.
It didn’t take long for his coaches and peers there to realize his raw talents and God-given power to knock people out.
He was encouraged to enter an MMA tournament to make some extra cash in November 2013, and less than 8 years later, Francis would become the UFC’s first-ever African Heavyweight Champion, knocking out arguably the greatest Heavyweight in UFC History, Stipe Miocic, spectacularly in the second round.
In January 2022, Ngannou defended his title against the undefeated interim UFC Champion Ciryl Gane, winning the fight via unanimous decision, all while fighting on a torn ACL and MCL against doctors’ guidance.
In late 2022, Ngannou decided to enter free agency and departed the UFC following the end of his contract, subsequently signing an unprecedented mega-deal as a global strategic partner with global MMA co-leader Professional Fighters League (PFL) and their Super Fights Division in 2023, further serving as the Chairman of PFL Africa, set to launch in 2025.
About Riyadh Season:
Saudi Arabia's capital embraces one of the world's biggest entertainment event every year during winter. Since the launch of the Riyadh Season in 2019, the festival has welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience thousands of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and other unique cultural events.
In 2023, Riyadh Season will commence on Saturday, October 28th with a spectacular opening ceremony and an historic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou.