Francis Ngannou Ties his Future with Boxing

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Initially seen as a secondary endeavor, Francis Ngannou‘s venture into boxing has evolved into something more substantial as he prepares to take on Anthony Joshua this Friday.

Francis Ngannou Points to a Boxing Future

While engaged in his burgeoning boxing career, Ngannou remains committed to his contract with PFL, asserting his intent to compete in mixed martial arts for the organization. Renan Ferreira, the 2023 PFL season heavyweight champion, recently secured a noteworthy victory over Bellator champ Ryan Bader at the PFL vs. Bellator event, positioning himself to potentially welcome Ngannou to the PFL in the future. Ferreira has disclosed his decision to forego the 2024 PFL season, choosing to await Ngannou’s promotional debut.

The other thing is that the time and certainty of Ngannou’s PFL debut remain unclear, and this uncertainty may be heightened if he manages to stun the combat sports world again by defeating Joshua.

“I will definitely still do some MMA fights, but I’m not leaving boxing,” Ngannou said Monday at the event’s grand arrivals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.”

“Remember, at the beginning, it was boxing. I wasn’t aware of MMA. And for more than a decade, it was all about boxing, dreaming about boxing. And then even when the opportunity came around [in MMA], it was, for me, an opportunity to shine, to be a world champion, and then potentially switch to do the crossover and go back to boxing, because I feel like it was something that I needed, I had to fulfill in order to be at peace with myself. In order to retire peacefully, I needed to do that boxing because I just love it. I can’t tell you why, but I love it and I enjoy it.”

Although Ngannou couldn’t collaborate with boxing legend Mike Tyson for this upcoming fight, he emphasized that the lessons learned from Tyson during his preparation for the Fury camp continue to influence his mindset as he approaches this significant bout.

“I was and I’m still working on the basics. I think from the moment that you forget about the basics, the fundamentals, you [lose what works],” Ngannou said. “Because what made me really be inspired and be [in] love [with] the Mike Tyson style so much was the fundamentals. Mike Tyson, he could’ve beaten the world champion and he was just [using] the fundamentals. You could’ve put a video of Mike Tyson [on] and take a 5-year-old kid and say, ‘OK, look, this how to box. This is the footwork. This is a jab. This is this.’ Everything was just the fundamentals, and fundamentals get the job done.”

“I’m not a fool. I know that I’m not at the same technique level as those guys,” Ngannou continued. “I’m not saying you’re calling me a fool, I’m just pointing it out — I know the situation. All of them, they’ve been doing this sport for over 20 years at a high-level, full-time, and I’m just getting in, although I was passionate about it my entire life. But I know that I’m not going out there to show something extravagant that I know, that I’ve been practicing. Stick on the fundamentals.”

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