Fury, Ngannou trade barbs at press conference

WBC heavyweight boxing champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and lineal heavyweight MMA king Francis Ngannou met face-to-face today at the kickoff press conference for the most anticipated combat sports event of the year.
Fury and Ngannou will collide in a 10-round boxing match on Saturday, October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in an epic showdown between two giants of their fields, which will mark the opening of this year’s Riyadh Season. The fight will take place under the official rules of professional boxing, with the three ringside judges using the 10-point must system.

Fury-Ngannou will be available on pay-per-view in the United States.

At today’s press conference, this is what Fury, Ngannou and Hall of Fame promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren had to say:

Tyson Fury

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

“I’m absolutely honored to be fighting Francis.  He’s going to be a very, very good fighting man. You can see that he’s massive. He’s in shape. He’s going to be a real challenge. It’s something different for me. I’m used to boxing boxers and boxing the head off of somebody. But fighting an MMA guy who comes in with a different style is going to be different.”

“I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be an absolutely fantastic event. I’m honored that I’m a part of it, and I’m honored that Francis is a part of it. I’ve got to take my hat off to Francis for his story, where he’s come from, the fight, the grind, the determination and everything he’s put into it to get to where he is.”

“I will give Francis the respect that he deserves as a warrior, as a man and as a world champion. He’s a big man. He’s very strong and powerful. And it’s in my interest to give it the 100 percent training in camp and bring in the best sparring possible for me.”

Francis Ngannou 

“I am very excited. I am very happy. I have been dreaming of becoming a boxer since I was a kid. And today, I’m not just going to box; I’m going to box the guy at the peak of the mountain. Usually, I would not pay attention to what is going around. But this thing is so big that I can’t stop thinking about it. History is going to be made.”
“It’s something that I didn’t see coming, even though my dream was always there. I always hoped for it to happen some day. But I didn’t see it lay out this way as one of the biggest events of the world. This is not just a fight. We are going to open up Riyadh Season. So, it is a cultural event that we are fighting on. And we’ll just make this fight bigger and bigger. Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen, but what I do know for sure is that I’m going to be out there hunting for that guy’s head to take it off. I can guarantee that.”

Fury: ‘As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away’

Undefeated Lineal and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will battle the former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on Saturday, October 28th, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The clash will take place under the official rules of professional boxing, with three judges ringside adopting the 10-point must system. 

“As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away!” the 34-year-old Fury said in a statement announcing the fight. “This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK. I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights. I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft. Francis looked tough when he jumped in the ring after the Whyte fight, but there is no one tougher than me, and you’ll all see that in devastating fashion on October 28.”

Ngannou, 36, said fighting Fury is a dream come true.

“I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years,” Ngannou said. “My dream was always to box and to box the best. After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet. I’d like to thank Riyadh Season and my team at 3Point0 Labs for helping put this event together. All I will say to Tyson, for now, is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”

The last time we saw Fury in the ring was in December when he defeated Derek Chisora for a third time via a 10th-round stoppage in what represented a third defense of his WBC world championship.

Regarding Ngannou, he defended his title against the undefeated interim UFC Champion Ciryl Gane in January 2022, winning the fight via unanimous decision, all while fighting on a torn ACL and MCL against doctors’ guidance.

In late 2022, Ngannou decided to enter free agency and departed the UFC following the end of his contract, subsequently signing an unprecedented mega-deal as a global strategic partner with global MMA co-leader Professional Fighters League (PFL) and their Super Fights Division in 2023, further serving as the Chairman of PFL Africa, set to launch in 2025.

Joshua on fight with Wilder, Fury: ‘I’m not wasting my time chasing people’

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will get it on one more time on Saturday, August 12, at sold-out The O2 in London(DAZN PPV).

In the amateurs, Whyte (29-3-0, 19 KOs) got the best of Joshua, but as a pro, Joshua stopped Whyte in 2015. 

Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) should probably beat Whyte, and many people believe he will; however, despite that fact, he knows this fight is good for business.

 “There are a lot of names in the division, but at the same time, look at what this fight does,” Joshua said at a press conference at London’s Hilton Syon Park Hotel. “I’m a fighter, but I also understand business, and this fight does good business.

“He {Dillian Whyte] is just another body. They’ve got a lot of hate for me. But I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about my lane and what I’m trying to do. I don’t focus on other people’s opinions.”

If Joshua defeats Whyte, rumors are swirling that he could fight the former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next, but according to Joshua, who continues to train with Derrick James, he’s not chasing any fighter right now.

“Forget [Deontay] Wilder and all them lot,” Joshua said. “They’ve been doing my head in for years, even with [Tyson] Fury. You can see all the lies that have been going on. I’m 34 this year, and I’m not wasting my time chasing people. I have to have an underlining respect for every man who steps in the ring with me. I could fight now. I’ve got a brilliant trainer – a serious trainer. And we’ll see where it goes. 

Whyte, 35, says this is a must-win fight for him.

“Is this a must-win fight?” Whyte said. “Every fight I’ve had with Matchroom has been like that. But I don’t worry about that. Let’s see what happens.”

If Joshua wants to continue to make noise, he will need to win this fight, which he should have no problem doing. Hopefully, if he does win, a fight with Wilder is next.

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Fury on win over Paul: ‘I made my own legacy’

Jake Paul (6-1, 4 KOs) battled an actual boxer, and the boxer won. Tommy Fury (9-0, 4 KOs) overcame a knockdown in the final round to defeat Paul by an eight-round split decision Sunday night at Diriyah Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Two judges scored it 76-73 for Fury, while the third judge had it 75-74 for Paul.

It was clear that Fury had the edge in terms of skill. He used an effective jab throughout the fight and outlanded Paul 88-49.

The fight was not a thing of beauty, but it wasn’t a lousy scrap either. There was a lot of clinching in this one, and it was sometimes sloppy. Both fighters committed fouls in this fight. Paul was deducted a point for hitting Fury behind the head in the fifth, and Fury lost a point in the sixth for clinching.

In his win over Anderson Silva, Paul dropped him in the eighth and final round, and on Sunday, he did the same to Fury as he dropped him in the eighth with a jab. Fury, the half-brother of Tyson Fury, got up and did not appear hurt, and he finished the fight on his feet.

However, Fury’s early lead was enough for him to secure the victory. 

According to Fury, this win helps him create his own legacy.

“For the past two years, this is all that has consumed my life,” Fury said after the win. “Broken rib. Denied access. Everybody thought I was running scared. Tonight, I made my own legacy. I am Tommy Fury.

“All through these past two years, I had a dream and a vision that I would win this fight. And no one believed me. Now I can stand up, and everybody can take note. It’s my first main event at 23 years old. I had pressure on my shoulders, and I came through.”

Jake Paul has a rematch clause, and Fury is okay with doing it again.

“This is my first main event,” Fury said. “I’m only going to get stronger, and I’m only going to get bigger. There were a lot of nerves going into that fight, but I override that. If he wants a rematch, bring it on.”

Paul, who suffered his first loss, said he would be back.

“All respect to Tommy,” Paul said. “He won. Don’t judge me by my wins. Judge me by my losses. I’ll come back. I think we deserve that rematch. It was a great fight. It was a close fight. I don’t know if I agree with the judges. I got a 10-8 round twice. So, it is what it is. I’ve already won in life, man. I’ve already won in every single way. I have an amazing family. Amazing friends. Amazing work ethic. I’ve made it farther than I ever thought I would.”

Paul has nothing to be ashamed of. He fought hard and dropped Fury. There will probably be some demand for the rematch, and it will probably do well, so all is not lost, but this loss for Paul is definitely a setback. 

Photo/Courtesy: Skill Challenge Entertainment

Fury destroys Chisora in London, wants Usyk

Everyone knew that WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) would have no issues with Derek Chisora, and in the end, everyone was right. 

Fury dominated and defeated Chisora (33-13, 23 KOs) via 10th-round TKO Saturday night at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Fury, who defeated Chisora on two prior occasions, had an easy time landing against the 38-year-old. In fact, according to CompuBox, he landed 50 percent or more of his power punches in seven of the ten rounds.

LONDON, ENGLAND – Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Late in the fight, there was visible swelling below Chisora’s right eye, and it was clear that his corner or referee needed to stop the fight.

In the tenth round, Fury landed some heavy shots, including an excellent combination that finally, and thankfully, forced referee Victor Loughlin to put a stop to the bout at 2:51 of the round.

“I felt good,” Fury said after the win. “I needed some rounds. I haven’t boxed since April. It’s been 8 or 9 months since then. I’ve been out of retirement. I’ve had a lot go on. I felt like I was landing my jab, landing some good punches. I take nothing away from Chisora. He’s an absolute warrior. It’s been a privilege to fight him three times. He’s an absolute British folk hero. What a warrior. What an African British warrior. We’ve done three epic fights, and what a tough man. I was hitting him with shots that would’ve knocked anybody else out, and he stood up to every one of them.”

Chisora was happy the fight was stopped and, like many, wants to see Fury battle unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Uysk for all the belts.

“You know what, thanks to the ref,” Chisora said. “As a fighter, you don’t want to stop. You want to go out in your shield. Thank you, Tyson; I really appreciate this. There is a big fight coming up. Everyone wants to see one champion in the heavyweight division. The last one we had was Lennox Lewis. I would like to see him and Usyk in Saudi [Arabia]. That’s what we want to see now. That’s the fight we should make happen now.”

Usyk, who was ringside and went face-to-face with Fury after the fight, could be the likely target for Fury. However, Fury did reveal that he may need surgery on his elbow and hand following the fight, so if that is true, we may have to wait a little longer for Usyk-Fury to happen.

Fury-Chisora 3 set for December 3 in London

WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will defend his crown against Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, December 3. Also, that night, WBA(secondary) world champion Daniel Dubois will make the first defense of his belt against South African southpaw Kevin Lerena.

Fury will again perform on UK soil following his April knockout of mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.

The two first met in July 2011 with the British and Commonwealth titles at stake, and Fury prevailed by unanimous decision. The two would fight again in 2014, and again, Fury was victorious, this time by stoppage.

During his career, Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) challenged for the WBC title and gave a good account of himself against Vitali Klitschko in Munich before entering into a grudge match at West Ham United’s Upton Park against another British rival in David Haye.

 In recent years, Chisora has been involved in two close encounters with Dillian Whyte and one with Usyk while defeating Carlos Takam, Artur Szpilka, and David Price. Last year, he lost a pair of tight affairs with Joseph Parker. 

His last fight was an exciting points victory over former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev in July.

Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) remains an undefeated champion and completed his remarkable return from the boxing wilderness with a resounding rematch victory over Deontay Wilder in February 2020, with the Bronze Bomber saved by his corner in the seventh round.

A trilogy battle followed eight months later, which delivered a Las Vegas thriller where Wilder was put down in rounds three and ten and Fury down twice in round four before knocking out the former WBC ruler in the 11th.

The 25-year-old Dubois (18-1, 17 KOs) seized his world title belt in June when he traveled to Miami and demolished previous champion, Trevor Bryan, inflicting a first defeat on the American via a fourth-round stoppage.

Lerena (28-1, 14 KOs), 30, is a recent addition to the heavyweight ranks, having established himself as the IBO world cruiserweight champion, making six defenses of the title. At heavyweight, he has recorded victories over contenders Patrick Ferguson, Bogdan Dinu, and Mariusz Wach.

Clearly, this is a fight no on wants, but according to the press release to announce the fight, Fury said he would like to face unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, so let’s hope Fury is a man of his word.

Wilder on knockout of Helenius: ‘I set him up’

The heavyweight division is better when former world champion Deontay Wilder is around, and Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn(FOX PPV) was a reminder of why Wilder is one of the most exciting fighters in boxing.

For the first time since 2019, Wilder fought someone other than Tyson Fury. The last time we saw Wilder, he was stopped by Fury in their third fight over a year ago. 

Saturday night was a different story.

Wilder(43-2-1, 42 KOs) destroyed Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius(31-3, 20 KOs) in one round in their WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator. According to CompuBox, Wilder landed only three punches, and one of those three punches was a short right hand that landed flush on Helenius’ face and ended the night as referee Mike Griffin halted the action with three seconds left in the round.

“I set him up,” Wilder said after the win. “I allowed him to reach, and when he reached, I attacked. It was a great fight. It’s been a good camp for me. We worked to make this fun for me. We work at this so much that it can just become a job. We made it fun again. We put in over 700 rounds, and it paid off tonight big time.” 

Wilder now moves to 5-0 with five knockouts at Barclays Center, and according to the former champion, he loves being in Brooklyn.

“It’s just amazing to be back in Brooklyn,” said Wilder. “It’s like a second home to me. It feels so good to be back. When I got off the plane, I felt the great energy and the love, and that’s all I needed.”

Wilder says he has three years left in the sport, and following the win, he said he’ll fight whoever, including unified heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr.

“I’ve been hearing rumors about (unified heavyweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk, but he’s not here, is he?” he said. “When guys see these knockouts, they turn the corner away from me. I’m ready for whatever. Whether it’s Andy Ruiz Jr. or Usyk, I’m ready. Deontay is back, and the excitement in the heavyweight division is back.”

The rumors have been swirling that Wilder would fight Ruiz next, which will probably be the case and would be fun. Actually, any fight Wilder is in will be fun.

Wilder: ‘I’ve had a great career, and now I’m back again for my second reign’

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder(42-2-1, 41 KOs) is back and will return to the ring after a year away to battle heavyweight contender Robert Helenius(31-3, 20 KOs) on October 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn(FOX PPV).

The 36-year-old Wilder is looking to return to his winning ways after getting stopped in his last two fights against Tyson Fury. 

For this fight against Helenius, who has won three straight, all by TKO, Wilder is training in Las Vegas, and according to the Alabama native, he’s doing things differently in this camp.

“We’ve put in over 400 rounds so far, and training camp has been great,” Wilder said via satellite on Monday. “I’m trying to do something different with adding Don House to the team working in Las Vegas. We wanted to change up some things, go more rounds and see what happened.

“This training sounds like it could be a lot on your body, but when you’re in shape physically and mentally, nothing is impossible.”

Wilder has sparred with Helenius over years, so the two have a relationship. However, for Wilder, this is business.

“I’m looking forward to October 15 and sharing the ring with Robert,” Wilder said. “I highly respect Robert and his team. We’ve always had a connection, but unfortunately, in this business, you have to go against each other sometimes. But make no mistake, just because we know each other, it doesn’t mean this fight won’t be interesting…

“I know what Helenius is capable of doing, and I know what kind of heart he has. He’s coming to bring his best, and I always bring mine. This is a serious fight between two warriors in the heavyweight division. We’re coming to put it all on the line.”

The Barclays Center has been good to Wilder. He’s 4-0 in that arena, including four knockouts. The last time he was at Barclays, he knocked out Dominic Breazeale in one round.

“Every time I fight, you’re on the edge of your seat because I’m going in there 110%,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this fight and coming back to Barclays Center, where some of my most exciting knockouts have occurred. I have remarkable memories there, and I can’t wait to display my talent.”

This summer, “The Bronze Bomber” got a statue erected in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That statue motivated Wilder to get back in the ring.

“Getting a statue in my hometown let me know that there was more work to do. I have to continue to fight and motivate and inspire. This reign is going to be a special one because it’s going to be dedicated to the people…

“I’ve had a great career, and now I’m back again for my second reign. It’s amazing to reminisce about all the years and about how I got to where I am now. It’s been an honor. We had a game plan, and we executed that game plan.”

Wilder still has an opportunity to make a lot of money. There are still big fights out there for him, including big-money fights against Anthony Joshua, the winner of Andy Ruiz-Luis Ortiz, and even possibly a battle with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. However, if Wilder wants those big fights, business must be handled against Helenius.

Ivan Dychko: ‘I am ready for big fights’

Ivan Dychko takes his 100% KO record to Argentina this week as the giant Kazak returns to the ring.

The hammer-fisted Dychko will be looking to secure a 12th knockout from as many pro fights in Buenos Aires on Thursday (June 23) when he locks horns with local favorite Kevin Espindola.

The 10 round heavyweight clash takes place on the WBA’s KO Drugs Boxing Festival and will see 6’9” Dychko fight for the first time under the Probellum banner, having signed with the global promoters earlier this year.

Dychko, a former sparring partner of Wladimir Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wider, says that once he has dealt with Espindola, he will only be looking for “big fights”.

Dychko, a two-time Olympic bronze medallist, said: “I am ready for big fights and very soon, I will be ready to fight the world champions in the heavyweight division.

“I had a great amateur career and now I have picked up a lot of KOs in the pros.  Everybody knows I have good technical ability, but my 11 knockouts show that I punch very hard.

“I know my heavyweight rivals are watching me.”

Fury: ‘I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time’

After not having fought in his native land for almost four years, Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) returned home with a spectacular sixth-round knockout in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium in London.

The WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion defended his crown against former training partner Dillian Whyte with a vicious right uppercut that immediately ended matters at 2:59 of the sixth row. Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) has now won four of his last five fights via stoppage.

To start the bout, both men attempted to engage in a bit of mind games, with Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) entering the first round by working from a southpaw stance. The roles reversed in the following round with Fury commencing his attack from a left-handed position. But by the third round, none of that even mattered as Fury, now orthodox again, began snapping his jab, finding his rhythm and even smiling at Whyte as he began lunging with shots in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte - Heavyweight Fight
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Tyson Fury (L) knocks-down Dillian Whyte (R) during their WBC heavyweight championship fight at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

By this point, Fury had seen what kind of openings could be made when leading with his left hand as Whyte often used a cross-armed defense to evade shots. That’s when the “Gypsy King” circled in on his target to touch Whyte with a left hand before landing a fight-finishing uppercut that knocked the “Body Snatcher” down and out.

“I’m overwhelmed with the support,” Fury said. “I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see my perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.

“Dillian Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion. But tonight, he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace. He’s a tough, game man. He’s as strong as a bull. He’s got the heart of a lion. But you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet. And you saw that tonight with what happened.

“I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”