UFC champion Francis Ngannou’s verdict on Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou praised British boxing stars Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury for their impact on the sport before outlining his intentions to enter the fray.
The Cameroonian, who set the world record for the hardest punch ever measured back in 2017, won the UFC heavyweight title when he defeated Stipe Miocic via second-round knockout at UFC 260.
Ngannou has spoken of his intention to swap the Octagon for the boxing ring in the past, and he has been left impressed by both Fury and Joshua.
Fury enjoyed a successful 2021, defending his WBC title against Deontay Wilder when he defeated the American in their grudge trilogy match.
There was less success for Joshua – seen training with Floyd Mayweather recently – as he was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian beat the Brit on points to claim the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
Regardless, Ngannou listed Joshua alongside the Gypsy King and heaped praise on the duo.
“Tyson Fury – I think he's the best. He's the best boxer of this era with no doubt and he's proven his point by getting people like Deontay Wilder,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel.
“He's fought this guy three times. Deontay Wilder – Heavy hands, good guy, good trash-talk guy, too. Pretty much the same thing as Derrick Lewis that I can say.
“Anthony Joshua – very nice guy, very good. I've been watching Joshua since a long time.
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“He's a very good boxer, skill-wise. Good physique and everything. Personally I don't know him but I will say nice guy from what I've seen so far.
“He's very explosive. He hits hard. I watched some of his fights. Even when he fought Klitschko, he showed he can hit and take punches, too. He has a very good chin.”
Meanwhile, Ngannou is set to be challenged by Cyril Gane at UFC 270 on January 22.
The 35-year-old has suggested he could enter the boxing ring though as uncertainty grows surrounding financial incentives.
Ngannou has earned significantly less from fights than the likes of Fury this year, who earned £13million for his win over Wilder.
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Ngannou has admitted he would love to face the duo in the future and insisted his his future in boxing inevitable: “It's always been down the line,” Ngannou told TMZ.
“This is something I'm not taking my eyes off of, it's going to happen, either way.
“Even if, when the UFC and I finalise a deal, the boxing part has to be in it because I can't see myself retiring without boxing, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level.
“It's not the same sport, although I'm the champion, I'm in the top in this division. At the end of the day, it's just about trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I'm sure that if I deliver my own punch, it's pretty good, I can make some damage.”
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