Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou agree to fight in Saudi Arabia

The top heavyweight fighters in their respective sports, boxing’s Tyson Fury and MMA king Francis Ngannou, will square off on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event will be held by Fury’s longtime promoter, Top Rank, which announced the fight in an early Tuesday tweet.

ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reports that while the two sides agreed to some parameters, not every detail has been ironed out just yet. Fury and Ngannou will box in a regulation boxing ring under boxing rules, but the number of rounds is uncertain. It is also unclear if Fury’s WBC championship will be on the line and if this will count toward either’s boxing record.

Ngannou left the UFC after he and the MMA promotion couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. (He was stripped of the heavyweight title, speeding up his exodus.) The 36-year-old then signed with the Professional Fighters League in a landmark contract in which not only does he have equity in the company, but he can pursue boxing matches outside of the PFL.

Fury, meanwhile, has a tendency to keep multiple pots boiling in between fights, usually threatening retirement or spouting off about other contenders to his crown. A fight with Ngannou appears to offer more to him financially than a unification fight with boxing’s other heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. Perhaps a desire to protect that potential bout is a reason why it’s unclear if his fight with Ngannou will be for his WBC belt or not.

Fury and Ngannou teased the public about a fight going back to April 2022. Now that it’s official, the fight card adds to what is turning out to be quite the year for boxing between Gervonta ‘Tank” Davis’ big win over Ryan Garcia in May, the July 29 welterweight superfight between Terence “Bud” Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s September super middleweight title bout against Jermell Charlo.


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