Francis Ngannou has his focus set on Anthony Joshua but regardless of what happens in their respective careers in the coming months, the former UFC heavyweight champion says that Tyson Fury owes him a rematch.
Ngannou lost a razor-thin split decision to Fury in his professional boxing debut in October, felling the giant ‘Gypsy King’ with a concussive left-hook in the third round of their bout in Saudi Arabia. It was a performance which surprised much of the boxing community, and earned him a second substantial payday in a fight against Anthony Joshua, again in Saudi, in a couple of months.
But Fury, who takes on Oleksandr Usyk in a title unification fight in February, remains very much on Ngannou’s radar — regardless of who comes out on top in his battle against fellow undefeated opponent Usyk.
“I’m not looking for the winner of Tyson Fury [and Usyk],” Ngannou told TMZ of his intentions post-Joshua. “I’m looking for Tyson. Tyson owes me a fight. I don’t give a sh*t about the winner of Usyk and Tyson. I’m coming after Tyson. Win or lose, I want Tyson.”
It remains to be seen exactly how this challenge will go down in Team Fury, particularly given the difficulties he experienced in their first fight, but Ngannou says that Fury would now have a greater opportunity to perform at his best given that they have now shared the ring for 30 minutes.
“He’s seen me box already, so he knows a little bit what is coming after,” Ngannou said. “Unlike Tyson Fury, that was out of the blue, didn’t know what to expect. Joshua kind of knows what to expect. I think this time I need to put it up even more to get the job done.”
And approaching the Joshua fight as a 0-1 professional, Ngannou makes no bones of the fact that the Briton is a sizeable favourite to have his hand raised.
“I’m going in against a former champion, against a guy that’s been in the game for so long, winning, and all this stuff,” Ngannou said of his upcoming opponent. “I think he’s 30-something and I’m 0-1. Come on, man. How do you make me a favourite?”
Ngannou and Joshua will box on Friday, March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.