Promoter Eddie Hearn is not expecting a competitive contest former UFC champion Francis Ngannou steps in the ring with Tyson Fury.
Ngannou will make his professional boxing debut against Fury, the current WBC champion, in a non-title bout scheduled for October 28 in Saudi Arabia.
Before he decided to face Fury, Ngannou had discussed his boxing aspirations with Hearn.
“When I spoke to [Ngannou], I actually thought maybe he should take a couple of easier fights and build his credibility to that mega-fight. But he made it quite clear he just wanted to straight into the big fight. I think the reason for that, in all honesty — I said this to Nate Diaz’s manager as well. I said that [Nate] should do the same thing. But the problem is, they’re not very good. And if you do that and get exposed as having no chance, so the mystery of, ‘Can he? Can he punch hard?’ [is gone],” Hearn told MMA Fighting.
In 2017, Floyd Mayweather came out of retirement to secure a stoppage win over UFC superstar Conor McGregor in one of the most lucrative events in pay-per-view history.
In the early rounds, McGregor was holding his own, but Mayweather would eventually take over the entire fight and stopped McGregor in the tenth.
Hearn does not see Fury-Ngannou being as competitive as Mayweather-McGregor.
“When you actually see the fight, you’re going to realize very quickly as we did with Floyd and Conor, they can’t win. And that was a lot more competitive than this is going to be. Yes, one-punch knockout power and stuff like that, but it’s boxing vs. MMA. It’s absolutely irrelevant,” Hearn said.
“[Ngannou has] done 100 percent the right thing. He’s got the max as quickly as possible, without anybody having to see it. Because he could go in a small fight for less money and you go, ‘You actually can’t put this guy in the ring with Tyson. It’s actually a huge mismatch. So the mystery of ‘Is it a mismatch? Does he punch as hard as everyone says? Oh he was once a boxer!’ makes you tune in. So I think he’s played a blinder. Good luck to him. What a lovely guy, going to make a lot of money, good luck to him.”