Francis Ngannou is in insane shape for Tyson Fury fight with Mike Tyson in his corner


A video posted five days ago of Francis Ngannou draining his shirt of sweat after a quite clearly gruelling training session has received over 130,000 likes with 1,000 people commenting in response to the video.

Ahead of the fight, Ngannou has been immersing himself in football and some of the game’s leading stars. In one of his pinned posts, the UFC fighter is seen jostling with Cristiano Ronaldo in Riyadh, the location of Ngannou’s bout with Fury.

Other posts include Ngannou at the recent pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund in Las Vegas, but unfortunately for Ngannou based on the shirt he was wearing, he would’ve been disappointed with the outcome as Dortmund ran out 3-2 winners.

While the Cameroonian-French athlete has also posted a video with Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior pretending to box the former UFC champion. An earlier post also showed the 36-year-old holding up a Real Madrid shirt with some of Vinicius’ teammates, including Eder Militao, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Eduardo Camavinga.

The final and most authentic post was taken in Ngannou’s native Cameroon with the world’s most talked-about player Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman also has roots in the West African nation and both were pictured eating a native dish NdolĂ© in the country’s capital YaoundĂ©.


Francis Ngannou training with Mike Tyson

In a more physical capacity, Ngannou is also preparing for the fight by training with former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. The American believes that the fight won’t be as one-sided as many expect it to be, as he has said: “He’s had many professional fights, but he’s never experienced a professional boxing match. But by working with him yesterday, he has the aptitude, and I see a good future in this life. It’s not going to be as one-sided as people think it is. I was speaking with Francis once he came in, and I asked him ‘Are you sore today?’, and he said ‘No’.”

Tyson added while speaking to First Take: “That was a big mistake. But, we’re going to work, and we’re going to exert everything he has for this particular match. I definitely believe that it’s going to be a tougher fight than anyone thinks.”

There aren’t many better people for Ngannou to be learning from than the so-called “Baddest Man on the Planet.” Tyson’s career was filled with famous knockouts and some slightly more infamous incidents such as biting Evander Holyfield’s ear in the 1997 rematch. The 57-year-old was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles, as well as the only heavyweight to unify them in succession.

Tyson spoke in further detail about his decision to train the former UFC fighter ahead of October’s duel, stating: “It’s no secret I back Ngannou 100 per cent in this face-off of champions. He has one hard punch, and when it lands, it’s game over. I am looking forward to working with Ngannou and supporting his transition from the Octagon to the boxing ring.

“He isn’t a combat novice; he is a world champion. He knows how to compete when the bell rings, but the key will be combining his energy and combat skills into his punches and using his agility to move swiftly around the ring then delivering the knockout blow. We’re here to win.”



Who is Tyson Fury training with for Ngannou fight?

Intriguingly, Fury has asked for support from his competitor’s sport in Tom Aspinall. The two Brits have trained together previously and Aspinall expects Fury to win the fight comfortably. “Yeah, I spoke to him. He called me the other day and asked if I would help him to train and stuff. We’ll see how it goes, mate. We’ll see how it all goes. I have a busy schedule myself. We’ll be in touch again after my fight is over with.”

Aspinall was speaking ahead of his recent TKO win over Marcin Tybura at UFC London, he continued to back his compatriot by saying: “I think Ngannou has a puncher’s chance, but it’s a very, very, very small puncher’s chance. It’s a very slim chance. As someone who’s sparred Tyson a lot and seen Tyson up close sparring a lot and seeing him fight up close, I think that for someone with the inexperience of someone like Francis Ngannou, it’s going to be really tough.

“Obviously, he punches like an absolute truck. And if you put Francis Ngannou against anybody and tell him that he’s allowed to punch them, he’s got a chance against anybody. But Tyson Fury is a master at what he does, and it’s going to be a tough night for Ngannou.”

The fight will fulfil a long-held ambition of Ngannou’s to step into the boxing ring and fight against one of the world’s elite in Tyson Fury.


Criticism of Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou

As the clash is a non-title event, this has been met with criticism from one of Fury’s main heavyweight competitors Oleksandr Usyk and his promoter Alexander Krassyuk. Krassyuk believes that Fury should be stripped of his WBC heavyweight title, although he understands that there is no technical basis on which Fury can be forced to give up his title.

“No, I don’t think it (Fury’s belt) should be relinquished. He can be stripped only for one reason if he does not comply with WBC rules. But according to my understanding, he does comply. He fought (Dillian) Whyte for the mandatory, and now they have to appoint him a new mandatory because the new mandatory has not been appointed. He’s not actually breaking any rules of the WBC.”

Krassyuk told SecondsOut: “But from a sports point of view-pure boxing, sports – he has to be stripped because he stayed so inactive for so long. And he is like cheating people, announcing fights that don’t take place.”


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