Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. believes Francis Ngannou has a real chance against Tyson Fury in their fight on Saturday, and it’s because of key choices he made to prepare for the matchup.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is just days away from the most high-profile fight of his combat sports career. While he has taken part in some huge matchups inside the Octagon, none compare to the opportunity of facing one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, Tyson Fury.
Due to his lack of boxing experience, he enters the bout as a sizable underdog. While he is arguably the hardest puncher in MMA history, recent losses by other UFC greats like Tyron Woodley, Anderson Silva, and Nate Diaz to Jake Paul have proven it can be quite difficult for cage fighters to be successful against seasoned boxers in the sweet science.
Nevertheless, there is one iconic boxer that gives the Cameroonian more than just a puncher’s chance on Saturday. During a recent interview, Roy Jones Jr. was asked about Ngannou’s chances against the heavyweight champion and pointed to boxing Hall-of-Famer Mike Tyson being one of his coaches as a reason not to underestimate the veteran cage fighter.
“He hasn’t had any pro boxing experience, but he does have fighting experience and he knows how to punch,” Jones Jr. said. “So, fighting experience, he knows how to punch, and Dewey Cooper and Mike Tyson are training him — they are going to put him in position to land that one shot he needs. And in boxing, guess what, it only takes one.”
Roy Jones Jr. says Mike Tyson will turn Francis Ngannou into a wrecking machine
Tyson seems like the perfect coach for Ngannou in what could be a one-off appearance in boxing. The heavyweight legend was never the most technical fighter, but his iconic coach Cus D’Amato molded him into a ferocious monster who used his unique athleticism and unreal power successfully against better technicians.
Ngannou will need to do the same against the exceptional and far more experienced skills of Fury, and Jones Jr. believes the New York native will build a “wrecking machine” the “Gypsy King” must be careful with on fight night.
“Mike Tyson has turned Francis Ngannou into a wrecking machine, that’s what he needs to be and why he probably brought Tyson in, you can’t stand outside and box Tyson Fury, he’s going to kill you, so you got to go in there and try and wreck him and if you don’t you’re going to lose,” Jones Jr. said.
“In a 12-round boxing match, there’s no way you can beat Fury. He knows too much and that’s what he does, so you have got to turn into a Mike Tyson-style wrecking ball.”
Fury vs. Ngannou will air exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view this Saturday with the card beginning at 1 PM ET from Saudi Arabia.