Francis Ngannou faced plenty of criticism for his decision to leave the UFC despite being the reigning heavyweight champion. 'The Predator' is set to make his boxing debut next month when he faces WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. 'The Gypsy King' recently praised his opponent for his decision, labeling him as a genius.
Speaking at the kickoff press conference for the event, Fury stated:
"Everyone said he was an idiot for walking away from the UFC and now all of a sudden he's a genius, isn't he? Guy's about to make $10 million. Come on! Egg in their face! Francis is going to make that bag. Rich!" [h/t MMA Fighting]
Check out Tyson Fury's comments on Francis Ngannou below:
Ngannou's decision to leave the biggest promotion in mixed martial arts reportedly stemmed from his attempt to get healthcare coverage and sponsorships for fighters as well as the UFC being unwilling to allow him to participate in boxing matches. He became the first reigning champion to leave the promotion since B.J. Penn in 2004.
The move was highly criticized as fans wanted to see him face Jon Jones. Adding to the criticism, he did not announce his next move for several months. Things have worked out for 'The Predator', however, as he signed what has been described as the most lucrative deal in mixed martial arts history with the PFL. He will also make his boxing debut, and receive, by far, the largest payday of his career.
Mike Tyson shares how Francis Ngannou can beat Tyson Fury
Mike Tyson is training Francis Ngannou for his upcoming boxing match against Tyson Fury. During a recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show, the International Boxing Hall of Famer discussed the bout, stating:
"Tyson Fury, he got dropped by a small guy, I forgot his name, [Cunningham], early in his career, and listen, this guy, punches like God knows who. He's an athlete, he moves quicker, I worked with his speed, and listen, he only has to land one or two. Tyson's never been in the ring with a guy that can punch this hard. I think this guy punches harder than anybody he's ever fought."
When asked what Ngannou needs to do to win the bout, 'Iron Mike' responded:
"He just needs to go all out aggression, punching to the body, bringing it to the head as we've been working with. He’s moving his head, he’s getting it together, and he’s really determined to do this stuff. He really wants to do this for his country, his people, his patriotic pride. This is really interesting. I’m very ecstatic about doing this."
Check out Mike Tyson's comments on Francis Ngannou below:
While many have given Ngannou no chance of pulling off the upset, Tyson believes that his power can influence the outcome. 'The Predator' holds the world record for the most powerful punch.