- Francis Ngannou has warned Tyson Fury not to try ‘tricky s***’ in their bout
- Fury was accused by Deontay Wilder of tampering with his gloves in the past
- LISTEN: Exclusive Tyson Fury interview on THE HOOK – our new boxing podcast
Francis Ngannou has warned Tyson Fury not to try any ‘tricky s***’ when they meet in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night – after he was accused by Deontay Wilder of tampering with his gloves in their bout.
Ngannou and Fury will stage the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ in Riyadh this weekend in a highly-anticipated crossover showdown that will see the former UFC star fight in his first boxing event – and he will be a major underdog against the world champion.
Ahead of the fight, the Cameroonian brought up accusations aimed at Fury from Deontay Wilder claiming he used weighted gloves when they fought in 2018 and 2020. The American alleged that it was a major factor in his shock stoppage defeat that left him bleeding from the ear.
Ngannou insisted he did not know whether the allegations were true but said their fight ‘needs to be equal’ and said he would be happy to fight his rival ‘bare knuckle’ if he was required to.
‘A lot of people that he fought has raised that issue and I don’t know if it’s a fact, if it’s true or not, but we have to double check that because he needs to be equal,’ he told Mail Sport.
Francis Ngannou has warned Tyson Fury not to try any ‘tricky s***’ in their bout on Saturday
Deontay Wilder accused Fury of using weighted gloves when they fought in 2018 and 2020
‘If you want us to fight bare knuckle, then let’s fight bare knuckle. If we have to fight in four ounce gloves, then let’s fight in four ounce gloves. But don’t be tricky. Don’t do some tricky s***.’
Ahead of the fight, it was also revealed that Fury asked for a bigger ring sized at 24-foot – larger than the regular 20 foot ring used in most fights – but Ngannou was not phased by the request.
‘At the end of the day, it’s going to be a challenge,’ he added. ‘It could be in a football field or in a phone booth – we’re going to fight and it’s going to be a tough fight.’
Many have tipped Fury to ease to victory against an MMA fighter who has never fought in boxing – let alone against a world champion – with fans pointing to Ngannou’s explosive punching power as his only real shot of causing a shock.
Ngannou insisted he was not fazed by being an underdog ahead of the Saudi crossover fight
However, Ngannou said he was not fazed about being an underdog and said it suits him – having overcome constant battles from his childhood and a difficult journey to becoming a UFC fighter.
Ngannou grew up in Cameroon and worked on sand mines before having to travel in the back of a truck and immigrating to France – where he was living homeless and sleeping in a car park before being invited into a gym.
‘I’ve always been an underdog, so I get to enjoy it at this point,’ he said. ‘I’ve always been underdog in life in general so it’s nothing new for me. I do believe [upbringing has made him tougher] because it was all about resilience.
‘My life was set up to prepare me for for this kind of battle. I have to learn to stand up every time to build that resilience, that determination over and over – that’s the only reason why I’m here.’
He dismissed suggestions his added muscle gave him a disadvantage against Fury
It was also put to Ngannou that he could struggle to go the distance with Fury due to his significant added muscle in comparison to Fury.
But he dismissed the idea and said his physique had helped him become a UFC world champion and that it would not hinder him here.
‘Well just as a reminder, [this] is the same physique that I’ve been having and I managed to become a world champion, so I haven’t changed the way that I’m built for this fight,’ he said.
‘So if I have managed in the past to get here, I think I can manage to move forward with it.’