Midnight Mania! Deontay Wilder: ‘Me and Francis Ngannou were supposed to fight first’
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
There appears to be only one real option for Francis Ngannou in his sophomore boxing match. After his stunningly valiant performance against the world’s best Heavyweight boxer, Tyson Fury, in October 2023 (watch highlights), Ngannou finds himself primed for another big-name match up. Ideally for most fans, “The Predator” will take on Deontay Wilder, who was being rumored as a possibility before Fury.
Before Fury vs. Ngannou became official, Wilder made an appearance at a Professional Fighters League (PFL) regular season event earlier in 2023. Wilder’s attendance became an instant tease for a pairing with the then-newly signed Ngannou, and according to “The Bronze Bomber,” it should have come to fruition.
“Me and Francis were supposed to fight first, but because of different circumstances it didn’t happen, but it’s cool because it was better for him to go and participate in a boxing match,” Wilder told Lucky Block. “It’s made it bigger and better for him because he’s made a name for himself in boxing to the point it’s getting people excited about a fight with the likes of me.
“Those talks have been discussed and there’s more talks to be discussed,” he continued. “I’ve got a few meetings with different people, CEOs of the company (PFL) to talk about certain things and to see what happens in the future. The future is bright. I’ll be with the Saudis for my next fights, I signed a contract with them, and after that my future is bright. Maybe we can get a Ngannou fight between certain other fights. There’s a lot going on between boxing and MMA. I’m looking forward to stepping in the ring with Francis and getting a fight going.”
Fury vs. Ngannou was each competitor’s first — and what will be their only — bout of 2023. While Ngannou’s MMA return and debut in PFL is expected to come in early 2024, a second boxing match still seems to be his first order of business. PFL Founder, Donn Davis, has mentioned the possibility of a Wilder bout getting put together. Instead of boxing or MMA, however, Davis mentioned the clash coming under a mixed rules ruleset.
“I’d have to hear more about these mixed rules,” Wilder said. “I wouldn’t mind fighting in the Octagon and stuff, but I’d have to understand how the mixed rules are distributed. What do they mean mixed rules? What can and can’t we do? But I know for sure — one fight in boxing and then one MMA fight — the rules are what they are. We’ve got rules in boxing, we’ve got rules in mixed martial arts. But when you’re mixing both together now you have to come up with your own rules and it can get kind of frustrating or confusing. But it could be something that’s new and I’m all about change. I’d need to hear it, both parties would need to hear it, and go from there.”
In other PFL-related signings and possibilities, Jake Paul has thrown out the idea of rematching Nate Diaz in MMA after their August 2023 boxing tilt that saw Paul walk away the victor by unanimous decision (watch highlights). For Wilder, that’s the type of series he can get behind with the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Ngannou.
“The first time we had the discussion I told him we should do one in boxing and one in MMA, I think that would be very entertaining for the fans on both sides because most times you see MMA guys come into our world and we’re not coming into their world,” Wilder said. “But I want to be fair, I’m always fair. If he comes over here to boxing, the next one I’ll go over there where he’s more comfortable and where I’m more out of my element. That would be very competitive and we’d put on a great show for everyone make history, and talk about it for years with our family and kids. I would love it that way.”
Real Steel is going to be a reality sooner rather than later.
Mr. Ireland One of my proudest achievements as Mr. Ireland, was securing our nations flag on the coveted @ufc belt. There are only 8 country flags on the belt. They signal the 1st 8 countries that won ufc gold. I done it for Ireland! UP THE IRISH! IRISH FOREVER! pic.twitter.com/OMH6NafEgV
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 7, 2023
Get them jits yo.
Quality. Still can’t believe Rockstar had to tease us two years early.
Are you entering?
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
I mean, that’s an all-time self-KO if I’ve ever seen one.
Liver kicks just hit different.
That time of year again.
So many cats, so little time.
Yeah, that probably didn’t feel great.
Midnight Music: The grooviest metal, 2008
Sleep well, maniacs! I’ll be filling in for Andrew tomorrow night as well. See you then! More martial arts madness is always on the way.