Mar­tial arts stars will meet in the ring this fall.

WBC world heavy­weight cham­pi­on Tyson Fury will fight for­mer UFC cham­pi­on Fran­cis Ngan­nou in Octo­ber, ESPN jour­nal­ist Mike Cop­pinger report­ed. Why is every­one dis­cussing this fight?

Fury and Ngannou have long wanted to fight

The fight will take place in Riyadh (Sau­di Ara­bia) on Octo­ber 28. The num­ber of rounds in the bat­tle is still unknown. It is also unknown whether Fury’s cham­pi­onship will be at stake.

Ngan­nou has long asked for a fight with Fury: he offered to fight in the UFC or choose a mixed style — box­ing with MMA gloves (they are much small­er than box­ing gloves). But Fury insist­ed on clas­sic box­ing, in which he is strong. And, it seems, he agreed on con­di­tions that were con­ve­nient for him — no exper­i­ments.

Tyson Fury

“The fight has just been offi­cial­ly announced. Accord­ing to the release, the fight will take place in a reg­u­lar box­ing ring under stan­dard box­ing rules with three ring­side judges using a ten-point sys­tem,” wrote Mike Cop­pinger.

Ngannou has no chance, but the fight will attract views

In pro­fes­sion­al box­ing, Fury fought 34 fights and won 33 vic­to­ries, fin­ish­ing one fight in a draw. Tyson is the strongest heavy­weight of our time, who has almost no rivals left. The fight with Olek­san­dr Usik fell through, so Fury switched to Ngan­nou, a stel­lar, but very easy oppo­nent for him.

Francis Ngannou

Ngan­nou is a for­mer UFC heavy­weight cham­pi­on and the league’s pre­mier knock­out machine for many years. He knocked out oppo­nents in the first round, and almost every Cameroon­ian knock­out went viral. But tech­ni­cal­ly he is not Fury’s oppo­nent — there is no intrigue in the fight.

Ngan­nou has weak strik­ing tech­nique and sta­mi­na, and knock­outs are the result of mon­strous nat­ur­al strength (late­ly he has stopped knock­ing out oppo­nents so as not to get tired). Strength will not help Fran­cis in box­ing — he will not hit Fury due to good defense and will quick­ly run out of steam.

“Tyson Fury chose a com­mer­cial fight, just like Floyd May­weath­er did. This is an inter­est­ing fight that will unite fans of two sports: box­ing and MMA, and will attract good views. The fight­ers will receive large fees.

As for sports, there is no com­pe­ti­tion. Tyson Fury is the num­ber one heavy­weight in pro­fes­sion­al box­ing. Ngan­nou is a big guy and he can punch, but he can’t do it because box­ing is not MMA. The Fury-Ngan­nou fight is not about box­ing, it’s a pure­ly com­mer­cial sto­ry and mak­ing mon­ey,” says for­mer world heavy­weight box­ing cham­pi­on Grig­o­ry Drozd.

Fight with Fury — Ngannou’s victory over the UFC

But the fight will def­i­nite­ly attract views — the pub­lic loves exper­i­ments. In 2018, McGre­gor fought with Floyd May­weath­er in box­ing: the fight was bor­ing, but showed record num­bers — 4.3 mil­lion paid paid broad­casts (only the fight between Floyd and Pac­quiao had more). The fight between Fury and Ngan­nou will prob­a­bly also attract view­ers and make all par­tic­i­pants rich.

This is exact­ly what Ngan­nou want­ed when he refused to renew his con­tract with the UFC — he was not sat­is­fied with the finan­cial con­di­tions that Dana White offered. Hav­ing entered the free mar­ket, the Cameroon­ian signed up for the PFL league (where he was offered a good con­tract) and will fight with Fury. Box­ing pay­outs are usu­al­ly notice­ably high­er than those in the UFC, so the ex-cham­pi­on seems to have hit the jack­pot.