Fury and Joshua called out by Ngannou as boxing plans laid out

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Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is keen to make a splash in the boxing world after refusing to re-sign with the MMA giants. The 36-year-old isn’t looking to ease himself into the sport either and has called out Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for his debut fight.

Ngannou’s UFC contract expired in mid-December and after the two parties were unable to reach an agreement, the UFC opted to waive its one-year matching rights clause, thus making the Cameroonian a free agent. The Predator was offered a reported £6.5million ($8m) to defend his belt against Jon Jones but refused the deal after being denied health insurance and the ability to represent sponsors on fight week.

Jones will now face Ciryl Gane for the vacant title while Ngannou pursues new challenges. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Ngannou revealed that he is planning to stage his first boxing bout no later than July and wants to jump straight into the deep end.

“Hopefully somewhere, the latest is July [for when I’d return], I’d say so,” he said. “Hopefully, at least twice this year. My gut says boxing, a pro boxing [bout]. I don’t know where, I’m going to find out. I’m working on it right now.”

He added: “Yes, I still want to achieve something in boxing and I want to stay in MMA as well. I discovered MMA first in my life and I feel like I have some mileage to give in my sport. In a perfect world, I go out there get some boxing match then get some MMA, depending on the challenges that are out there.

“If they are out there, I want to fight the top guys in boxing. I don’t know, I think Fury has retired and come back. I don’t know where Fury is right now, but now it is time. Before, we could not do anything concrete beyond the social media stuff. Whatever it is, if it is with Tyson Fury, I will take it. I have no problem doing boxing with 4oz gloves, we will figure it out. Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua would be my first ideal opponent.”


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Ngannou was set to face Fury in an exhibition bout following The Gypsy King’s brief retirement from professional boxing last year. However, with Ngannou still in contract with the UFC at the time the fight was unable to be made.

Now, with complete contractual freedom, he is keen to lock down a date with the British behemoth. 


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