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Tyson Fury facing Ngannou in a bout where you can't be knocked down would be ultimate bank robbery

Tyson Fury thinks he’s the new Floyd Mayweather! Facing Francis Ngannou in a bout where you can’t be knocked down would be the ultimate bank robbery to fans… and he’s eyeing up Jon Jones as well

  • Eddie Hearn claims Tyson Fury is in negotiations to face Francis Ngannou next
  • The fight is said to include a no-knockdown rule, the ultimate robbery for fans 
  • Mail Sport looks at the impact of Fury choosing exhibitions over real fights 

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Tyson Fury‘s next opponent is still yet to be announced but there are worrying rumours flying around that he could be about to seal a deal to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

According to Eddie Hearn, the WBC heavyweight champion is negotiating an exhibition bout with Ngannou which is said to include a no-knockdown rule.

In a heavyweight era rife with world-class talent this would be a real kick in the teeth for hardcore boxing fans who want nothing more than to see the division’s best fight each other.

The bout everyone wants to see is of course Fury vs Usyk. Both men hold all four major sanctioning body belts between them and have been locked into on-and-off negotiations since the back end of last year.

It seemed as though the boxing world would finally get its wish a few months ago as discussions entered the advanced stages for an April showdown at Wembley Stadium.

Tyson Fury's next opponent still hasn't been announced though the options look rather grim

Tyson Fury’s next opponent still hasn’t been announced though the options look rather grim

Eddie Hearn claims Fury is in negotiations to face Francis Ngannou in an exhibition contest

Eddie Hearn claims Fury is in negotiations to face Francis Ngannou in an exhibition contest

Eddie Hearn claims Fury is in negotiations to face Francis Ngannou in an exhibition contest

Fury has also flirted with the idea of facing current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones

Fury has also flirted with the idea of facing current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones

Fury has also flirted with the idea of facing current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones

However, Usyk’s team pulled the plug on negotiations in the eleventh hour after failing to come to an agreement on the purse split for the rematch.

Usyk had already given into Fury’s demands for a 70/30 split in the WBC champion’s favour for their inaugural encounter but did so on the understanding that it would be reversed should he win the first fight.

ESPN’s Mike Coppinger states that Fury was unwilling to compromise on anything greater than an even share which angered Usyk and Co.

After talks collapsed, ‘The Cat’ was ordered by the WBA to face his mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois in August while Fury is expected to return to the ring in the coming months as well.

Exactly who he will face is presently unclear but after failing to make fights with Andy Ruiz Jr, Anthony Joshua and Zhang Zhilei his options are wearing thin. 

The best-case scenario appears to be a bout with the highly-rated Cuban contender Frank Sanchez.

Meanwhile, he has also teased crossover clashes with MMA stars Ngannou and Jon Jones. 

Frank Warren told Mail Sport last week that Fury’s next fight is a ‘game changer’ that will ‘surprise everyone’.

But fans want to see Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk in the first undisputed fight of the four-belt era

But fans want to see Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk in the first undisputed fight of the four-belt era

But fans want to see Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk in the first undisputed fight of the four-belt era

Fans will be hoping that the surprise isn’t an unpleasant one – like a farcical exhibition bout.

Boxing has been plagued with sideshow acts ever since Floyd Mayweather embarked on his post-retirement career, fighting YouTubers, reality television stars and everything in between.

But unlike Mayweather, who retired from professional pugilism in 2017, and is now 46 years old, Fury is in his prime and is a reigning world champion.

Choosing to go ahead with these types of fights when he is yet to face the majority of the division’s top 10 would be foolish.

Jones and Ngannou can be saved until he decides to walk away from the sport for good.

For now, becoming the first undisputed champion of the four-belt era should be the priority and entertaining fights with anyone from outside of the division’s elite would only serve to divert those plans.

Fury has been out of the ring since December when he beat Derek Chisora via decision

Fury has been out of the ring since December when he beat Derek Chisora via decision

Fury has been out of the ring since December when he beat Derek Chisora via decision 

As it stands, the Saudis are preparing an offer to stage Fury-Usyk in the Middle East at the back end of the year, or the first quarter of 2024.

Amer Abdallah, the Head of Boxing for Skills Challenge Promotions (the promotional outfit looking to play host to the event) affirms that all parties involved will receive a ‘premium price’ for their services.

They had hoped to put on Wilder vs Joshua and Usyk vs Fury on the same night but Warren recently stated that the time frame would be ‘difficult’ for his client. 

Abdallah remains confident that a deal can be struck though and declares that Fury is ‘on board’ with the fight. 

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