Eddie Hearn Says Francis Ngannou Could End Up on December Boxing Card in Saudi Arabia, Reveals Potential Opponent

British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn addressed the struggles of finding Francis Ngannou an opponent, but revealed one man who may be up for the job

Francis Ngannou
Courtesy of @BleacherReport on Twitter

British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Francis Ngannou could make his professional boxing debut as part of a stacked card rumored to go down in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year. 

Months after parting ways with the UFC, Ngannou signed a ground-breaking deal with the Professional Fighters League last month that will see the former heavyweight champion make his Smart Cage debut in 2024. Before then, ‘The Predator’ intends on trying his hand inside the squared circle, but as we hit the halfway point of the year, nothing has come to fruition for the Cameroonian superstar. 

Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Hearn discussed potential Ngannou opponents, including heavyweight standouts Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and the obstacles that have prevented those bouts from coming together in recent months.

“I sat down with Francis, as you know. We had a long meeting, and I spoke to Anthony [Joshua] about the fight and just the stage that he’s at in his boxing career. He’s chasing greatness,” Hearn said. “He wants to be [Deontay] Wilder. He wants to beat. He wants to fight [Tyson] Fury for the world title, and when I brought up the Ngannou fight, he’s like (makes a disgruntled face). Which I thought might be different in terms of that conversation, but he just wasn’t really interested because he’s got business to take care of in this sport.”

Eddie Hearn Reveals Potential Date and Opponent for Francis Ngannou Boxing Debut

Eddie Hearn also addressed the heavily rumored clash between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, suggesting money is the key issue in making that fantasy matchup a reality despite both men being interested in making it happen.

“Fury would fight Ngannou, but I just feel like the problem is the only place where you can generate that kind of money that both of those fighters perceive its worth is in the Middle East. And once the Middle East says no, the market’s dead for that fight,” Hearn continued.

Asked if the Middle East market has already turned down a potential clash between Fury and Ngannou, Hearn answered in the affirmative, as evidenced by the fact that the bout simply hasn’t been booked. However, Hearn did reveal that Ngannou could find himself on a history-making card rumored for this December in Saudi Arabia. 

“They must have because I’m sure it’s been discussed. There are rumors for a third fight that night in December, which could be Ngannou vs. [Derek] Chisora. I actually quite like that fight because I don’t see Francis being competitive against Tyson or AJ, but more competitive against Chisora, but I think, do the UFC look at Francis Ngannou now and go like, ‘What have you done?’ ultimately.”

No official announcements have been made, but the fabled December event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would feature co-heavyweight headliners with Deontay Wilder facing Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury taking on Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk. The two winners would then go on to face each other in a sort-of four-man tournament.

Published on June 22, 2023 at 3:10 pm
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