Since his official UFC departure in January, former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is getting more options outside of mixed martial arts. One of the opportunities presented to him is a special rules boxing match against Tyson Fury, which “The Predator” foresees happening around the summer.
If nothing comes to fruition with the Fury talks, the 36-year-old may have another option in Anthony Joshua. The good news is that promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s willing to get behind it.
Hearn made an appearance on this week’s MMA Hour episode where he spoke nothing but good words about Ngannou.
“I think he’s an outstanding man. I always talk too much, and I don’t want to talk too much about what was said,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani.
“I reached out to Francis just to say, ‘Look, I just want to know. I’m getting all these approaches from people. Just tell me who I need to speak to.’ And the answer was, ‘Me.’ I really like that.
“I respect him greatly for the way he’s handled his career to a point where now, he’s in a fantastic position. He has a new ocean to navigate now, which is a lot more rocky in the world of MMA and the UFC. He’s in the wild west of boxing.
“I was pretty captivated by him. I’m not a massive MMA fan, but I still respect what he’s achieved there. I just found him to be an outstanding gentleman. So, we’ll see where it goes.”
As for the potential Joshua fight, Hearn sees it as a blockbuster in the making. And not just in boxing, but across all sports.
“For me, we would love to be involved in his career. The Anthony Joshua fight is just probably one of the biggest fights that could be made across any kind of sport. Obviously, the Tyson Fury fight is there for him as well.”
Ngannou’s last fight happened a year ago at UFC 270, where he defended his title against Ciryl Gane.