Dana White normally has adversarial relationships with boxing promoters, but Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn is a rare exception. They have mutual respect for each other, Hearn has openly admitted to taking inspiration from the UFC when running his own shows, and now he wants to do a crossover matchup between Dillian Whyte and Francis Ngannou.
Hearn said on Instagram that Ngannou was interested in taking on the British heavyweight boxing contender in a boxing match, and later told Sky Sports that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if it happened at the end of this year.
“The aim for Dillian Whyte is to become a world boxing champion, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Dillian Whyte against Ngannou towards the end of this year. Obviously we know Povetkin is next, but whether it’s October, November, December.
“I’m going to be reaching out to Dana White and saying: ‘Tell me how this works? Can we actually do this? Are we doing it in a ring? Are we doing it in a cage? Are we doing one round of each?’
“It’s really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there’s a really good chance it could happen.”
Ngannou has no pro boxing experience but of course has stupidly heavy hands. He’s coming off a 20-second KO of Jairzinho Rozenstruik, extending his UFC winning streak to four and putting him in prime position for another title shot. Ngannou is also interested in taking on Jon Jones, but that requires more money.
Whyte is 27-1 (18 KOs) in boxing — his lone loss was by KO to Anthony Joshua — but he started out in kickboxing and had one MMA fight back in 2008, KOing Mark Stroud in 12 seconds. For what it’s worth, even though Ngannou has long taken interest in boxing matches, Whyte is leading the charge on this Ngannou bout.
“Ngannou is dumber than he sounds if he thinks he’s going to do anything in boxing,” Whyte said (via Sky Sports). If he turned up to fight me like the coward that he was against Derrick Lewis I’d hurt him and knock him clean out. That was officially the most boring fight in UFC history. The only thing more boring is his personality. If I called him a potato it would be a compliment. He reminds me of that other deluded coward Deontay Wilder. Ngannou has to be the most boring man on the planet. A speck of dust has more personality. ... If he wants it and wants to earn some real money, let’s get it on and stop talking about it. Don’t talk about it, let’s just do it.”
How about we don’t do it and let Ngannou get big UFC fights and for Whyte to keep pursuing a heavyweight boxing title shot? Sounds like a good idea to me.