Francis Ngannou Is Wrong to Prioritize Tyson Fury Rematch Over a Potential Anthony Joshua Fight

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What once was a dream is now a reality. When Francis Ngannou came to France after toiling hard in Cameroon, he wanted to excel in the square circle. Fast forward to some time later, after punching his way to the top in the UFC, he returned to knocking down giants in the boxing ring. Ever since he rocked Tyson Fury on October 28, he has ensured his name is taken in the same breath as other star heavyweights. However, it seems ‘The Predator’ has become fixated on ‘The Gypsy King’ and is missing the larger picture. Is he wrong to stake his career to chase a rematch with Fury while Anthony Joshua is itching to have a go with him?

When the former UFC champion left the boxing arena in Riyadh, he knew he had beaten the WBC champion. Despite Fury being slated to face Oleksandr Usyk, he is willing to wait months before having another crack at Fury. He left Fury with a cut that pushed Fury vs. Usyk to next year, a bout that was initially scheduled for December 23. Meanwhile, the 37-year-old MMA fighter is not signing a deal in hopes of running it back once again. Has the rematch infatuation distracted him from pursuing other worthy opponents?

Ngannou recently reiterated his desire to wait for the Fury rematch. He told TMZ, “I would be willing to wait [for Fury to fight Usyk]. I know that they are going to fight. They had a contract already.”

“So they are going to fight sometime in February instead of Dec. 23, which is my fault. I shouldn’t have cut him. He would’ve fought December 23. And maybe we would’ve run it back early next year,” he noted with a hint of pride.

But neither the fans nor the promoters are interested in their rematch at the moment. The fans know that the Cameroonian-French fighter handed a defeat to Fury and was robbed. Moreover, the fight failed to generate excitement and suffered financially. The setting up of the event in Riyadh meant the PPV streamed in the day in the United States.

Therefore, the reports of Fury vs. Ngannou’s PPV clash selling only 67,000 PPVs didn’t come as a surprise to some. Yet, the lineup of bigshots hungry to have the flesh of Ngannou is long.

Maybe a little of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, or even Derek Chisora

Amid Ngannou’s deep-seated desire for a rematch, Eddie Hearn is pushing Anthony Joshua as Ngannou’s next opponent. The British promoter told the BBC, “As we start to plan AJ’s next six to 12 months, we just want to know if that is an option.”

Joshua has no fight lined up and is currently training with Derrick James. Unlike Fury, who remains focused on Usyk. Joshua has carved out a name for himself as the top heavyweight, and his skills are second to none. However, Ngannou is not ready to fight Joshua, at least not this year.

As Ngannou told TMZ, “First of all, it’s too soon. Secondly, my focus, as boxing is concerned, is a rematch with Tyson. That’s the most important thing for me right now. Everything else for boxing comes after.”

Likewise, the rumors of Ngannou closing a deal with Deontay Wilder for two fights have also gained traction. Derek Chisora didn’t shy away from throwing his name in the mix when he called out Ngannou. Hence, Ngannou can have his pick from among the three in a blockbuster PPV and not endure the anguish of waiting for a Tyson Fury rematch.

The time is also running out for Ngannou as he waits for Fury. While some have forgotten that he is under a contract with the PFL, combat fans remember his controversial exit from the UFC and his back-and-forth with Dana White. Can he actually afford to wait?

The PFL contract and his MMA obligations

Ngannou’s contract with the PFL affords him the liberty to realize his boxing dream. However, he has to, at some point, return to the fold of MMA. Most probably, that will be the first half of next year.

The heavyweight fighter can’t juggle between two boxing and MMA camps in a few months. He needs to recover and adjust accordingly. The more he waits for Fury, the more he cuts his dream run short. Ngannou must also remember that he is not getting younger.




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