After the news recently broke that Tyson Fury has finally signed a deal to trade blows with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, many boxing fans will be looking beyond his upcoming bout with Francis Ngannou in Riyadh.
It’s understandable, given the sheer magnitude of that fight with the unbeaten Ukrainian. However, the Gypsy King can only take it one fight at a time and he is by no means underestimating the former UFC heavyweight champion – despite being the massive favourite in the Fury Ngannou odds.
Indeed, this will be ‘The Predator’s’ debut in the squared circle. But his power is proven in the octagon, and he is a dangerous puncher. Therefore, this might not be the run-of-the-mill victory everyone is expecting for Fury.
That said, let’s take a look at the tale of the tape ahead of Fury v Ngannou.
Fury is two years younger than The Predator, who is making his boxing debut at 37. But age shouldn’t be too much of a concern for either fighter.
The Gypsy King’s recent wins over Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora prove he is still performing at an elite level at the age of 35, while Ngannou didn’t make his professional mixed martial arts debut until 2015 — when he was already on the verge of 30.
Given that Fury is a boxer and Ngannou is a mixed martial artist, it is very difficult to compare their records. But let’s take a look at their respective résumés anyway.
The Gypsy King does, of course, boast an unbeaten record in the squared circle — with 33 wins and one draw from his 34 contests. That draw was a controversial one, as many felt he had done enough to beat Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles.
To break it down further, Fury has 24 wins via knockout and nine by decision.
With 17 wins and three losses, Ngannou’s record isn’t flawless — but is still impressive.
One of those defeats came in only his second professional contest, when he was still on the books of French promotion 100% Fight, while two came back-to-back during his time with the UFC — including in a heavyweight title bout against Stipe Miocic.
The Predator later avenged his loss to the American when stripping him of the belt at UFC 260 in March 2021. In total, Ngannou has 12 wins by KO, four via submission and one by decision.
Standing at 6ft4in, the Cameroonian isn’t accustomed to being the smaller fighter. In fact, he has had a height advantage in all but one of his professional bouts.
That was against Anthony Hamilton in his fourth UFC appearance and the American’s extra inch didn’t benefit him, as Ngannou forced him into submission in the first round.
Fury comes in at 6ft9in, however, and that could make a very big difference in the boxing ring. On top of The Gypsy King’s massive height advantage, Fury also has two inches more reach and weighs a stone more than Ngannou.
The WBC heavyweight champion can keep the former UFC star at arm’s reach and jab away at Ngannou, while also using his hefty weight to wear him down should they start to do a bit of hugging.