Francis Ngannou plans to have Tyson Fury’s gloves inspected before the pair step inside the squared circle next month.
On October 28, ‘The Predator’ will make his return to action nearly two years removed from his last appearance inside the Octagon. But this time, it won’t be the cage he’s stepping into. Instead, it’ll be the boxing ring as the former UFC heavyweight titleholder prepares to test his mettle against the reigning WBC heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury.
But before the two throw hands in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, Francis Ngannou is determined to make sure everything is on the up and up after allegations of glove-tampering have been levied against Tyson Fury in the past.
“Tyson’s gloves,” Ngannou said during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “He’s very tricky with his glove. I think he’s cheating. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about his gloves, that his gloves have no protection.”
Ngannou’s accusation is likely in response to Deontay Wilder’s 2020 claim that Fury had loaded his gloves with egg weights ahead of their second meeting. Most within the boxing community chose to disregard Wilder’s allegation, but it sounds like ‘The Predator’ is taking them quite seriously and plans to make sure there is no funny business during their highly anticipated crossover clash.
“Even when he fought Deontay Wilder, he complained about that,” Ngannou said. “Derek Chisora complained about that, and that’s what we’re talking about with the team, the U.K. commission and the gloves.
“We’re going to get there, and we need every glove to get checked. You don’t tell me about this, commission. All the gloves get to be checked. If you want us to fight bare-knuckle, let’s go bare-knuckle, but don’t give me 10-ounce gloves, and he wears eight or six-ounce gloves because he has no protection.
“His opponent complains about his gloves. It might not be [true], but we have to check that. I think we have nothing to lose by double-checking because it’s been more than once that people talk about his gloves and even his opponents.”
Francis Ngannou Reveals the UFC Cost Him a Million Dollar Sponsorship
Before cashing in on a big-money match with Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou had a very public and lengthy contract dispute with his former employer, the UFC. Going back and forth for nearly two years, the pair ultimately opted to part ways in January 2023, allowing Ngannou to pursue greener pastures.
Speaking about his financial struggles under the UFC banner, Ngannou revealed that he was forced to ask for an advance on his fight purse just to make it through training camp ahead of his title tilt with Stipe Miocic in 2021.
“Even before the Stipe fight, when they announced that fight I needed to call UFC to advance my purse to finance my training camp,” Ngannou said. “I had no money.”
Francis Ngannou tells Joe Rogan he had to get an advance on his fight purse to pay for his training camp leading up to his fight against Stipe Miocic.— MMA News Today (@MMANewsToday_) September 23, 2023
He says the UFC was limiting his schedule as leverage against him in contract negotiations. pic.twitter.com/05aEzvBlC4
Even after he had become the heavyweight champion, Ngannou struggled to make the kind of money befitting of the division’s top dog. However, a lucrative sponsorship deal worth $1.2 million appeared to be his saving grace. That was until the UFC allegedly stepped in and prevented him from accepting the offer as the promotion had already penned its own deal with a rival organization.
“After the Stipe fight, I had a deal in 2021 on the table with cryptocurrency,” Ngannou said. “I was going to have $1.2 million, which is the money I never had in any fight…then they announced the Crypto.com deal, and they told me ‘You can’t carry this in the Octagon with what we’re trying to push.’ “
You’re gonna have to wear it whether you like it or not…I wanted to have my own sponsor, which fighters should be able to have 2-3 sponsors on their deals. I understand we want to make this sport grow, but we can also have a department who checks all the sponsors. There’s a lot of good stuff out there to let fighters to provide and get a little bit more money, and that was another discussion.”
Watch a clip from Francis Ngannou’s appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience below: