Tyson Fury is about to get paid an enormous sum of money for fighting a heavyweight novice in a 10-round, non-title fight.
Some reports have suggested Fury’s purse for facing former UFC champ Francis Ngannou will exceed $60 million. Though Ngannou’s power poses at least some sort of threat to the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champ, even Fury feels as though this windfall from Saudi Arabian investors is almost too good to be true.
“I just sometimes look in the mirror and think I’m an absolute genius,” Fury playfully told Queensberry Promotions’ Dev Sahni and Andy Clarke during their grand arrivals Tuesday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “And when everyone thought it was all over for the GK [Gypsy King], he comes and totally redeems his self and pulls this out the hat. And here we are.
“It’s like unbelievable, isn’t it? Like just only six months ago I didn’t know if I was ever gonna box again. And then, here we go – never mind just doing a fight with [Ngannou]. I’ve got another big fight lined up and so much more to come, so many more big things in the hat. So, Houdini.”
Fury’s frustration left him contemplating retirement for the umpteenth time once negotiations ceased for a title unification showdown with Oleksandr Usyk earlier this year. Then the abovementioned investors from Saudi Arabia funded not only his crossover clash with Ngannou, who reportedly will earn $10 million, but also his much-discussed clash with Usyk.
If Fury defeats Ngannou and leaves the ring without any cuts or injuries, it is possible that England’s Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) and Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) could fight as soon as December 23 in Riyadh. Whether they fight that night or at some point early in 2024, Fury-Usyk, barring a draw or no-contest, will crown the first fully unified heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.
Fury’s full focus for now, however, is on the hard-hitting Ngannou, who will make his pro boxing debut against an elite-level opponent who is listed as a 20-1 favorite.
“I’m not thinking about it,” Fury said of the Usyk fight. “Yeah, I’m just saying it’s facts. But I’m not thinking about it. I’ve got this big sausage to deal with. And once I’ve grilled him up nice and good, then we’ll go on to the next one.”
Fury, 35, and Ngannou, 37, will headline a TNT Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom (£21.95; 7 p.m. BST). ESPN will distribute the five-fight Fury-Ngannou pay-per-view event in the United States ($79.99; 2 p.m. EDT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.