Mike Tyson to train with Francis Ngannou ahead of Tyson Fury boxing match
Mike Tyson is teaming up with Francis Ngannou.
The heavyweight boxing legend plans to work with the former UFC heavyweight champion ahead of Ngannou’s upcoming boxing match against Tyson Fury, Riyadh Season PR announced in a press release Thursday. Ngannou faces Fury in a pro bout billed as the “Baddest Man on the Planet” match on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which will be part of the capital’s Riyadh Season festival.
“It is no secret I back Ngannou 100 percent in this faceoff of champions,” Tyson said in the release. “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.”
It is not yet known if Tyson will be a formal part of Ngannou’s training camp or if he will join Ngannou’s team when the PFL fighter arrives in Saudi Arabia.
Tyson, 57, was one of the most feared knockout artists in boxing history in his prime, reigning as heavyweight champion from 1986-1990. Out of his 50 career wins, 44 came by way of KO/TKO.
That would seemingly make Tyson the ideal tutor for Ngannou, whose UFC run was marked by his explosive punching power. Ngannou won 10 of his 14 UFC fights by KO/TKO and parted ways with the promotion this past January as a free agent having never lost its heavyweight title. He signed with the PFL in May.
“He isn’t a combat novice; he is a world champion,” Tyson said in the release. “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.”
The Ngannou-Fury bout will be a 10-round affair and mark Ngannou’s first foray into pro boxing. Fury, the reigning WBC titleholder, is undefeated in 34 fights and is a former undisputed heavyweight champion.
Ngannou has long expressed an admiration for Tyson and echoed that sentiment in Thursday’s press release.
“Bringing Mike Tyson into my training camp is one of the best decisions I can make to prepare for Tyson Fury in the ring at this year’s Riyadh Season,” Ngannou said. “Mike Tyson is an idol of mine in the sport. His experience and boxing IQ will be important to honing my technique under his guidance to win this superfight.
“I’ve been wanting this fight for years and now that it’s here, I’m focused on fighting the greatest fight of my career and shocking the world on the most epic stage for the fans in Riyadh. October 28th, the world will know who’s the ‘Baddest Man on The Planet.’”