Francis Ngannou Trains with Heavyweight Legend ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson Ahead of Pro Boxing Debut Against Tyson Fury

'The Predator' appeared alongside the former heavyweight world champion during a recent episode of ESPN's First Take to detail their unique pairing

Francis Ngannou
Courtesy of @mostwantedrellz on Twitter

Francis Ngannou is thrilled to have heavyweight boxing legend ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson training him ahead of his highly anticipated professional boxing debut.

On October 28, the former UFC heavyweight champion will put down the four-ounce gloves and strap on a pair of boxing mits for a clash with perhaps the greatest pound-for-pound boxer in the sport today, Tyson Fury. The bout will emanate from Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia later this year, and while many have already counted out Ngannou in his pro debut, ‘The Predator’ is giving himself the best possible chance at shocking the world by bringing in one of the most iconic names in the history of the sport.

Speaking with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim on ESPN’s First Take, Francis Ngannou appeared alongside former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and offered some insight into their unique pairing. 

“Three years ago was the first time that I met Mike [Tyson],” Ngannou said. “I made this request to him that whenever I fight Tyson Fury, please would you help me for training and he said yes. He even showed me some moves back in the day and gave me some training techniques. And that was three years ago. Nobody could have believed that this would happen, but today we are here for real.”

Francis Ngannou Reveals the Status of His Surgically Repaired Knee

Roughly 18 months ago, Francis Ngannou underwent surgery to repair his knee after suffering from the injury for an extended period of time. Asked about the status of his limb, ‘The Predator’ revealed that his rehab went well and indicated he is now 100% and ready to go. 

“It wasn’t a speculation. I was hurt. I had knee surgery a year and a half ago, so it wasn’t a speculation. I had a knee problem and for about a year, I was in rehab, but now I’m fine. That’s why I’m going to fight.” 

During their conversation, Ngannou also revealed details behind his meeting with legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo

“It was amazing meeting Cristiano Ronaldo,” Ngannou added. “I didn’t have any idea that he knows anything about combat sports, but apparently, he knows a lot [more] than you might think. He watches all the fights and his family. It was just funny standing there, looking at Cristiano Ronaldo about fights. Telling me what would be the best one. The one he liked the most. His favorite fighter. The fighters that he likes to watch.”

Following Ngannou’s showdown with ‘The Gypsy King’ this fall, the ex-UFC superstar is slated to make his return to mixed martial arts inside the PFL Smart Cage. No official date, location, or opponent has been revealed by the promotion as of yet, but the event is expected to air live on pay-per-view in early 2024.

Published on August 4, 2023 at 1:57 pm
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