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Tyson Fury to retire after facing Whyte, still open to ‘special fight’ against Ngannou

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury talks about his future in combat sports.

Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte Press Conference
Tyson Fury speaks to reporters at the Fury vs. Whyte press conference at Wembley Stadium in London, England on March 1, 2022.
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Tyson Fury plans to retire from boxing after defending his WBC heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte on April 23, but that doesn’t mean ‘The Gypsy King’ is walking away from combat sports for good.

Speaking to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Fury, 33, declared his interest in a ‘special fight’ against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou after he defeats Whyte next month in London, England.

“This is the final countdown of ‘The Gypsy King.’ Hollywood awaits,” Fury said (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “This is my retirement fight. 100,000 people at Wembley, all British world title fight. Return of the Mack after four years to the U.K. This is it, going out on a high. Retiring on top. Two-time world heavyweight champion and I’ll have made eight defenses of the lineal championship. Never to lose a fight. To go down as only the second heavyweight in history to retire unbeaten. Me and Rocky Marciano.”

“I don’t count that as a real boxing fight,” Fury said of a potential showdown with Ngannou. “That’s not a boxing fight. That’s gonna be a ‘special’ fight. That will be in a cage in four-ounce gloves, in Las Vegas, at the Raiders Stadium....

“I will have retired from competitive, championship boxing and I’ll be ready to do the crossover fights completely. He won’t be the UFC heavyweight champion anymore, I won’t be the WBC heavyweight champion anymore, but I will still be the lineal heavyweight champion because they can’t take that from me!”

Fury has long teased of a fight against Ngannou with four-ounce MMA gloves, comparing ‘The Predator’ to boxing rival Deontay Wilder who is considered one of the most devastating punchers in the sport.

“We’ve got Francis Ngannou, he’s a big guy, a big dangerous guy,” Fury said. “I’d love to see, people going on, ‘Oh, it’s not a fair fight in 10-ounce gloves,’ and that’s correct. It wouldn’t be a fair fight in 10-ounce gloves because like [Daniel] Cormier said recently, he said Francis Ngannou is a much cruder version of Deontay Wilder, and we all know what happened there. So I think if we’re doing four-ounce gloves, he’d have a bit more chance of knocking me out, but then again, I’d have a bit more chance of knocking him out also. So it makes for an exciting fight. And I will try to come in at my heaviest for that fight. I’ll try to come in over 300 pounds... Just to nail him to the canvas with one solid punch.”

Fury is coming off an 11th-round knockout victory against Wilder and will return to the boxing ring for his final fight against Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium on April 23.