Deontay Wilder says he likely won’t tune into the upcoming heavyweight spectacle between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou.
Fury, the WBC heavyweight titlist from Manchester, England, will be taking on Ngannou, the former UFC champion from Cameroon, on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a regulation boxing bout that marks Ngannou’s first foray into professional boxing. However, Fury’s WBC belt, curiously enough, will not be on the line.
Supporters for the “crossover” fight, including Fury’s promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren, have praised how it stands to bring more mainstream attention to boxing, while detractors lampooned the affair as a gimmick, especially since there had been considerable anticipation to see Fury take on unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed distinction.
You can apparently count Wilder as one of the fight’s legion of critics. The native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, said in a recent interview that he “probably” will not watch the fight, citing how boring he thinks it will be.
Wilder had floated the notion of fighting Ngannou earlier this year, soon after Ngannou left the UFC, but nothing materialized.
“I think it’s gonna be boring,” Wilder said of Fury-Ngannou in an interview with ESNews. “In my gut, I just feel like it’s gonna be boring. Lot of acting, lot of stuff going on. I don’t think it’s gonna be an exciting fight.
“Some of these fights, because I haven’t really been in it, the heavyweight division, man, it just went down tremendously, bro. The excitement about it is not the same no more. The burn for it is just not the same.
“Like I said, hopefully it’s a great fight, you know, get it on, get it over with, man, you know, that’s just how I am. Get it on, get it over with.”
Wilder, who is engaged in talks to face Anthony Joshua early next year, has not fought since knocking out Robert Helenius in one round last October.
“I’m bringing boxing back, don’t worry. I know the excitement and thrill has been f—— dead. There’s no thrill in the heavyweight division right now. Don’t worry. I’m right here, baby. And soon the king will return. I will be sitting back on my throne with my crown over my head. Don’t worry. I know y’all been bored. But it won’t be long.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.