Boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will fight Francis Ngannou, former UFC heavyweight champion on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The fight will be under the regulation of boxing rules, including three ringside judges using the 10-point must system.
However, the number of rounds the fight will last was not stated.
It was also not said if Fury’s WBC heavyweight title will be under contention, or if the fight will count toward their professional boxing records.
“I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights,” Fury said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft.”
“My dream was always to box, and to box the best,” Ngannou said in his statement. “After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet.”
Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou’s clash is coming after months of speculation that intensified following Ngannou’s departure from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s leading MMA promotion.
Fury’s last fight was in December when he took out British boxer Derek Chisora via a TKO in round 10.
“This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK,” Fury said, referring to Ngannou. “I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said that Fury got special permission to fight Ngannou as there was no official challenger. He said Fury had tried to close fights against Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua, and Oleksandr Usyk, but no agreements were reached.
Francis Ngannou has won 17 of his 20 professional UFC fights, with 12 knockouts. He was the UFC heavyweight champion until he left in January after falling out with the organization’s President Dana White when he couldn’t reach terms on a contract extension.
“My next step has to be boxing,” Ngannou told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in March. “I want to do one boxing match first, and then maybe go back to MMA because I still enjoy MMA. I want to do a couple of fights in boxing. We are working on some stuff, and hopefully, in a month or two I will be able to come out with an announcement on potential fight dates and locations.
“It’s taking a little longer than I expected, but it’s coming along. Big things come with time.”
The 36-year-old Cameroonian underwent surgery in March to repair his MCL and ACL, and two months later, signed a deal with the PFL that allowed him to box as well.
Fury and Ngannou hinted about their clash in April 2022 after his sixth-round TKO victory over Dillian Whyte in London to retain his WBC heavyweight title.
“Big Francis Ngannou is here today,” Fury said, with both men inside the ring. “He’s on my hit list in an exhibition fight, however he wants it: in a cage, in a boxing ring, boxing gloves, UFC gloves, we can make it happen. I think everyone wants to see it. He’s a monster of a guy, I’m a monster of a guy, so it will be a clash of the titans for sure.”