Tyson Fury has vowed to deliver UFC fighter Francis Ngannou his first knockout blow when they go toe to toe in Riyadh on Saturday night.
Heavyweight champion Fury will contest a 35th career bout this weekend, but his WBC title will not be on the line against Ngannou for the 10-round fight.
Fury is set for a long-anticipated undisputed heavyweight showdown with Oleksandr Usyk on December 23, which is also scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia.
First, though, Fury intends to dispatch boxing novice Ngannou, who left the UFC after the end of his contract, a last fight coming in January 2022, before signing up with the Professional Fighters League from 2024.
Trainer SugarHill Steward admitted preparing Fury to take on the Mixed Martial Arts fighter was one of the hardest camps, given they just do not know what to expect from Ngannou.
Fury, though, is confident of what the final outcome will be.
“I have been working with SugarHill to knock him out cold on Sunday night. I have no doubt in my mind that I will knock him out,” Fury said.
I make this look good 🕶️
Public Workout at the KINGDOM ARENA!
📍 Riyadh / #BattleOfTheBaddest
Tell everyone that the Gypsy 👑 has arrived 🥊 and my stage is set!#FURYNGANOU
Shot by @M1keyShotYa
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) October 26, 2023
“He is a big strong guy. Obviously he has got a good punch, powerful – but so am I. I’m a big strong guy obviously powerful or else I would not be world heavyweight champion.
“I believe there is levels to the game – and he is going to find out my level on Saturday night.”
Fury added: “I have trained for a 12-round war, and if it is anything less it is going to be an early night.
“I’ve been hit by the biggest punches that have ever graced the face of the earth and I’m still undefeated, still standing and I am still number one.
“We are going to see what Francis has got inside of him, see if he’s got the guts to stand and trade with the heavyweight champion of the world and if he has got the belief in his power.
“I’m not convinced. I have heard all this talk before about power, so I’m looking forward to a challenge – and if it is not a challenge, I’ll be disappointed, put in that way.
“I am going to knock that big stiff spark out – and there is nothing he can do about it, no matter who he trains with, no matter who he brings on the night.
“That right hand is going to detonate right in your face, you big ugly dosser.”
During the pre-fight build-up Fury accused Ngannou of being “embarrassed” of his own body.
Fury again goaded the 37-year-old as a “big fat sausage” in Thursday’s media conference ahead of the ‘Battle of the Baddest’.
See you guys at the Press Conference ☝🏿
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 26, 2023
Cameroon-born Ngannou, though, is fully intent on showing Fury just what he can deliver in a boxing ring rather than the UFC Octagon.
“It might be a little weird, but I really also want to thank Tyson Fury for taking the fight, for taking the risk because he might go to sleep on Saturday night, so I appreciate his courage,” Ngannou said.
Mike Tyson is part of Ngannou’s camp, and enjoyed a verbal sparing with John Fury which saw the 59-year-old Briton challenge the former heavyweight champion to a showdown, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s contest for his son.
Tyson admitted he was not sure what to make of Ngannou’s boxing ability, until he saw him in close quarters.
“At first when this came to me, I said ‘there’s no way this is going to happen’,” Tyson said.
“Then I watched him spar and he hit this guy and he broke his leg when he went down – and I said ‘man, there is a possibility something good could happen here’.
“I have never seen anything like that before. If he could do that man, he could possibly be heavyweight champion of the world.”