Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been heavily linked with a boxing fight against Tyson Fury since his departure from the promotion, but Alex Pereira is concerned with the potential showdown
Alex Pereira has stated former UFC champion Francis Ngannou should avoid Tyson Fury.
Ngannou recently announced his departure from the UFC after failing to agree a new deal with the promotion’s president Dana White as he seeks a potential future in the boxing ring. ‘The Predator’ has been heavily linked with a switch to the squared circle, in particular with a fight against Fury who currently holds the WBC heavyweight title.
It has already been agreed between the pair that they should touch gloves, with both men proposing a set of hybrid rules for the crossover fight. However, UFC champion Pereira, who currently holds the title in the middleweight division, has insisted Ngannou must carefully select his opponents if he is to make himself a career in another sport.
“It depends if he’s fighting the elite,” Pereira told MMA Fighting when assessing Ngannou’s chances of succeeding in a switch to the boxing ring. “[Boxing against] Tyson is hard. It’s suicide. There are other guys for him to start. [He can go] one step at a time. If he really wants to fight those guys, then he’s just thinking about the money.
“I don’t know if that’s the case. But to say ‘I’m going there because I want to become champion,’ that’s hard. [Boxing] someone who can defend from his punches, [Ngannou] would get tired. I’ll give you a dumb example: If you ask someone who’s never trained in his life to go against someone experienced and tell him to hit as hard as he can to knock him out.
“He’ll gas out in three minutes, and then one weak punch will knock him out since he has no defence anymore and can barely stand still. To me, knowing how to defend yourself is the most important thing.”
Ngannou was considered one of the most powerful punchers in the UFC and many predicted he could pose a dangerous threat to fighters in the boxing ring. However it remains to be seen if he could make any kind of momentum in a fight with Fury who remains undefeated during his time in the sport.
A showdown with Fury could also be unlikely in the current climate given the champion is waiting on news of an undisputed title clash with Oleksandr Usyk, but Ngannou is plotting an official approach nonetheless. “I’ve talked to somebody, some of [Tyson Fury’s] advisors, but they’re working on a fight with [Oleksandr] Usyk in April,” Ngannou told TMZ Sports. “So, until then, he will not be free. But I’m trying to see if we can have an agreement before that fight.
“That will also give me some time to get prepared for a boxing fight. So I have no problem with the timeline that I’m expecting, that I hope will be sometime in June, July, which is doable. So let’s see. I think it’s too early to make a conclusion. It’s too early to say anything about it but it’s definitely something that we’re looking into.”