Fury v Ngannou PREDICTIONS: Chisora claims old rival will be DROPPED

Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou PREDICTIONS: Tommy Fury foresees ‘early night’ for MMA star, Derek Chisora claims Gypsy King will be DROPPED, while Eddie Hearn calls contest a ‘total mismatch’… but Mike Tyson predicts shock knockout win

  • Tyson Fury collides with MMA star Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on Saturday 
  • Eddie Hearn called it a mismatch, while Oleksandr Usyk also backed rival Fury 
  • LISTEN: Exclusive Tyson Fury interview on THE HOOK – our new boxing podcast 

Two giants of boxing and mixed martial arts collide in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night as WBC world champion Tyson Fury comes up against former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou.

This will be Ngannou’s first ever boxing bout so not many are giving him a chance of pulling off a shock, though his incredible punching power means he remains a threat to the Gypsy King.  

Fury will hope to see off the challenge of Ngannou to keep himself on course for an undisputed showdown with Oleksandr Usyk either in December or next year – and a loss is unthinkable given the vast difference in experience between the pair.

Some of the biggest names in boxing – and MMA – have been giving their take on who they think will prevail in Riyadh this weekend.

Mail Sport breaks down the predictions from across the world ahead of this highly-anticipated fight. 

Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou square off in a highly-anticipated showdown in Saudi Arabia

Tommy Fury

The brother of Tyson was adamant that this fight will not last long and feels it will only go four rounds, claiming the ex-UFC fighter will struggle with having to go 10 rounds. 

‘He’s taken it probably as seriously as any of his other fights,’ he told Mail Sport in an interview that will be aired on new podcast The Hook. 

‘He put in more weeks of training than he did for Deontay Wilder. You can tell by the way he’s performing how switched on he is, how switched on and focused he is. 

‘I do think it will be an early night on Saturday because you can’t have your first boxing fight against someone who is in my opinion the best to ever do it and do some good, it just doesn’t happen like that. 

‘There are levels to boxing. Francis’s gas tank will be tested too because in MMA you get a bit of time to rest here and there. In boxing – someone is on you 24/7 in the three minutes of that round and you have ten rounds to do. It’s a tall order for him so I do think Tyson will get him out of there in four rounds or under. 

‘Francis is going to get clipped by an uppercut or maybe a straight right but I don’t think he will last more than four rounds. Maybe if the Usyk fight wasn’t happening, Tyson would have a bit of fun and carry him for a few rounds but if he can get him out of there in one a round with a big fight looming… we’ll see.’ 

Verdict: Fury win

Tommy Fury is predicting an ‘early night’ for Francis Ngannou against his brother Tyson

Mike Tyson

No surprise that the man in Francis Ngannou’s corner is backing him to pull off a shock victory in Riyadh.

‘Iron Mike’ says ‘nobody can survive’ a shot to the jaw from Ngannou if it lands as he gave a puncher’s chance to his fighter after training him for arguably the biggest fight of his life. 

‘I am helping Ngannou,’ he told Mail Sport in an exclusive interview. I am learning what he is able to do. He’s able to do so much more than I anticipated.

‘Fury’s not the all-time great but he’s one of the all-time greats. He’s really high up. He can do greatness right now.

‘He’s always going to bring a good night of boxing, fight hard. You’ve got to try and hit him with a shot to knock him cold out because he always gets back up and fights hard.

‘[Ngannou] has what it takes to knockout anything or anybody standing in his way. Once he lands a punch on Tyson Fury’s jaw he is going to knock him out too. Nobody can survive that.’

Verdict: Ngannou win 

Mike Tyson believes Francis Ngannou has the power to knock out Tyson Fury this weekend

Jake Paul 

The YouTuber has already square off against Tyson’s brother Tommy and has experience himself in crossover fights against MMA fighters.

He feels the event is great for Ngannou after struggling to get the rewards he craved in the UFC – and says the Cameroonian’s ‘one-punch power’ will be his secret weapon all night long. 

‘I’ve fought all of these MMA fighters and none of them have been able to do anything against me.

‘Tyson is going to bring the smoke but Francis has that one-punch knockout power so we’ll see if he can land on Tyson. It’s going to be a good fight and I’m excited for it.’

‘I’m just excited for Francis to be getting his opportunity and to be showing other fighters, particularly from the UFC that they can break out of there and make their own lane. He’s finally getting the pay he deserves but it’s definitely going to be a tough challenge.’

Verdict: Can’t call it

Stipe Miocic

The American fighter fought Ngannou twice in the UFC, winning one and losing one, so his expertise will be more valuable than most – even though this a different sport in boxing. 

Miocic has experienced his power first hand. He warned ‘anything can happen’ but admitted he hoped his old rival could ‘shock the world’. 

‘Listen, he’s onto bigger and better things. On paper, Tyson Fury is one of the best boxers of all time, amazing at what he does but Francis hits really hard.

‘It’s a fight, anything can happen. I wish him nothing but the best. I hope he shocks the world.’

Verdict: Can’t call it

Ngannou’s former UFC opponent Stipe Miocic has tipped him to ‘shock the world’

Oleksandr Usyk

Usyk has signed to face Fury either in December or next year and he’ll be hoping Fury wins to avoid their showdown being delayed.

The Ukrainian was famously critical of Fury for taking the fight and does not believe Ngannou will pose him too many problems in the ring. 

‘This bout is bread and butter for Tyson Fury,’ Usyk said in a YouTube video. 

‘This is my attitude with regards to boxing. And when someone’s saying that Ngannou can drop him I probably would agree, but I’m really not certain. Tell me how could the guy with no experience in boxing beat a giant who’s been in boxing for 20 years?

‘Yes, Ngannou is a UFC champion, I’m not disputing it. But UFC isn’t boxing. I’m 100 per cent sure that Tyson Fury will be victorious. If Ngannou relatively has a puncher’s chance, and if he hypothetically happens to send Fury tumbling to the canvas, I’ll concede talking gibberish.’

Verdict: Fury win

Fury’s rival and future opponent Oleksandr Usyk cannot foresee the Gypsy King losing

Eddie Hearn 

Frank Warren’s rival promoter Eddie Hearn has long insisted the contest between Fury and Ngannou would not be competitive and called it ‘a money grab’ – saying Ngannou would be thoroughly outclassed in Saudi Arabia. 

‘It’s a total mismatch,’ he told SecondsOut. ‘Can we just have the opportunity to say it’s a 34-fight, 33 won and one draw, heavyweight world champion, No 1 in the world against a man who has never put on a pair of boxing gloves in a professional ring.

‘And the British Boxing Board of Control are sanctioning that fight between two non British Boxing licence holders in Saudi Arabia.

‘The whole thing is a money grab, it’s great entertainment, it’s a total mismatch but it’s going to be a great event. So good luck to them.’

Verdict: Fury win 

Eddie Hearn believes this contest is a ‘total mismatch’ and feels Fury will win comfortably

Derek Chisora

Chisora is another man who is well placed to give his opinion having fought Fury on three separate occasions. He was stopped in the first two fights before losing unanimously in the third. 

He is now a close friend of Fury’s and has backed him to get the win – but claimed he would be dropped at some point in the fight by the unfancied MMA fighter. 

‘That’s a big fight, he told SecondsOut.

‘Tyson is going to win it, but I think Tyson is going to get dropped by Ngannou.’

Verdict: Fury win 

Fury’s old rival Derek Chisora tipped the Brit to win – but not before being dropped 

David Haye

David Haye – who nearly fought Fury in 2013 before getting injured – believes Fury will get the win in the middle rounds and hopes it will show the difference between boxers and MMA fighters.   

‘Is [Fury] going to go out there and just dispatch him or is he going to tie him up, make him tired, hit him with some body shots and put on a show? I think Fury is good enough to make it entertaining, or he could go out there like he did with Deontay Wilder the second time and just smoke him,’ he told SecondsOut.

‘I’d like him to drag it out six/seven rounds, bust him up and show why there is a difference between professional boxers and MMA fighters.’

He added that if this was an MMA contest, Ngannou was powerful enough that he could ‘kill’ Fury. 

‘If he puts a rear naked choke hold on Tyson, who can stop him? He could probably kill him. Who could physically get him off? You’d have to shoot him if he chooses to do that, that’s how powerful he is.’

Verdict: Fury win 

Tony Bellew 

Haye’s former nemesis agreed that Ngannou was no match for Fury – saying that he would get a big shock because boxing and MMA are ‘completely different sports. 

‘It’s a freak show, not a boxing match,’ he told JOE. 

‘This guy is just a big, huge, strong unit, but there is loads of them in Wetherspoons every Friday and Saturday night. I’m not going to lie, I’m going to watch it, I’m intrigued.

‘Put this into context, this man is having his first ever professional boxing match of his life, and he is fighting the heavyweight champion of the world.

‘Make no mistake, if any boxer was to try to get in a cage with Ngannou, he would absolutely tear them apart, and I’m pretty sure that man is capable of tearing hands or feet or limbs off your body. 

‘It’s just that mixed martial arts and boxing are two completely different sports. It’s like saying rugby and football are similar because they’re both played with a ball. They belong in different stratospheres.’ 

Verdict: Fury win 

David Haye said Fury would win in rounds six or seven, while Tony Bellew said the showdown would be a ‘freak show’

Alastair Overeem

Overeem suffered one of the most brutal KOs in UFC history at the hands of Ngannou and is well aware of the power he possesses. 

He is one of the few voices backing the Cameroonian to secure victory – and even believes he will pull of a ‘brutal force KO’. 

‘I believe [Ngannou] is going to win,’ Overeem told the MMA hour.

‘I look at fights a little bit different, right? Of course, being in the game for 30 years. But I look at patterns, I look at little details, I look at [it] a little different. And I think Ngannou is gonna surprise the world, shock the world.’

‘People underestimate [MMA] fighters. 

‘Boxing is basic, one-dimensional to us. Yes, Tyson is the best, but Francis is a big dude. A very big dude…It’s going to be a brutal force KO…And also, considering I went into K-1 and people didn’t give me [a chance] either. But I went in there as well – we have different mindset as MMA guys, it’s different.’ 

Verdict: Ngannou win 

Alistair Overeem – who suffered one of the most brutal KOs in UFC history against Ngannou – backed him to secure a ‘brutal force KO’

Frank Warren

Tyson Fury’s promoter would never go against his own fighter but insisted that Ngannou deserved credit for his accomplishments in UFC and said he was not someone to be underrestimated.

He said Fury would get the job done but said Ngannou’s only hope of victory was by knocking his opponent out. 

‘Ngannou is a professional, he doesn’t sit behind a keyboard for a living, he’s not a prankster,’ Warren told Mail Sport. ‘Look at the journey he’s had. Everything has been tough. He’s a real tough guy who’s the best in his discipline. 

‘He’s not a trained boxer and I think what can he do to beat Tyson Fury? He can’t outbox him. He beats him by knocking him out. He’s got to take him out and put him out of his stride. He’s got to rough him up like they do in UFC. He will have to be physical and land his bombs. That’s the only way he beats him.’ 

‘People think Tyson will move around and jab. I don’t think he’ll do that. He stood toe-to-toe with Deontay Wilder and I think that’s what will happen. It will be exciting and very, very short and I think Tyson will come through it.

‘Tyson is the guy who has everything to lose. Ngannou has not a thing to lose. Tyson is putting everything on the line here.’ 

Verdict: Fury win 

Frank Warren said Ngannou cannot be underestimated but believes Fury will get the job done

Conor McGregor

It wouldn’t be a UFC/boxing crossover fight without Conor McGregor getting involved – after he contested the first major bout of its kind against Floyd Mayweather in 2017. 

He’ll be in Saudi for this showdown and could not be pressed either way when asked for his prediction. 

‘Great bout, interesting bout,’ he said. ‘Francis Ngannou for me is more of a kickboxer/boxer than he is a mixed martial artist, in my opinion. You start throwing in grappling with Francis, it’s never good for him. 

‘He has a striker’s mentality. He has a tall ask with Tyson Fury, but any man can land a shot. I’m excited to see it unfold. Tyson looks great in the build-up, fast, light, elusive. It could be a seriously stellar performance from Tyson Fury here. 

‘What’s the variables in this? The Mike Tyson variable is very interesting in Francis Ngannou’s corner. Francis has power, Francis has big power. With that power, anything can happen. I don’t think Tyson’s going to want to let Francis test his power on him.’

Verdict: Can’t call it

Conor McGregor warned Fury that Ngannou’s power should not be tested in Saudi Arabia

Joe Joyce

Joe Joyce offered an assessment of Ngannou’s ability after a sparring session with him earlier this year.

His manager Sam Jones had claimed he had ‘disgraceful’ power after watching the session and said he ‘threw huge bombs at Joe’s head’ – and that he took him a round to work him out. 

Speaking to TNT, he said Ngannou had a chance if he could land his big shots. 

‘I think Fury obviously needs to be switched on, but he’s experienced, he’s got the longer range, he’s taller, so he can keep him at range, but it’s about Ngannou coming in,’ he said.

‘But especially with Mike Tyson…he wasn’t a big heavyweight so that’ll be good for him [Ngannou] to get in and if he can nail him with some big shots, then he’s got a chance. 

‘The power’s real if you let him hit you. It only takes one punch in heavyweight boxing so if he can land a good punch… I mean, Fury’s shown he can get up as well, but I’m interested to see this fight.’ 

Verdict: Can’t call it 

Joe Joyce believes Ngannou has ‘real’ punching power and has a chance if he can land on Fury

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