Tyson Fury wants boxing world to 'laugh at him' if he loses to Francis Ngannou in Saudi clash

Tyson Fury wants boxing world to 'laugh at him' if he loses to Francis Ngannou in Saudi clash
Tyson Fury believes he deserves to be laughed at by the boxing world if he loses in the ring to MMA champion Francis Ngannou in their upcoming fight in Saudi Arabia.
3 min read
08 September, 2023
Fury is widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight boxer in the world and a fantastic entertainer [Getty]

British boxing champion Tyson Fury said on Thursday the world should laugh at him if he is beaten by Francis Ngannou in their upcoming heavyweight crossover showdown in Saudi Arabia.

WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Fury spoke shortly before he goes head-to-head with the former UFC heavyweight champion.

"If I lose to an MMA guy I'll never be able to show my face in public again," 35-year-old Fury told the London press conference. "It's going to ridicule me - people will chuck it at me forever."

Thirty-five-year-old Ngannou has no professional record in boxing, spending almost his entire career in mixed martial arts (MMA). Other boxers and sections of the boxing media have written off the bout as a joke and the opportunity for both men to take home huge sums of money.

Fury, who is considered to be one of the best boxers in the world, in particular, has faced criticism for not fighting more credible opponents.

Over the course of 2023, much-anticipated super-fights between Fury and current unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and former two-time champion Anthony Joshua have fallen through.

Addressing this criticism, the Morecambe fighter said: "Whether the media want to take it as a joke, make no mistake Tyson Fury will leave zero stones unturned and I will come in as my fittest and strongest I've ever been to defeat this man."

“If I'm not and I get knocked out, then I want you all to laugh at me. That's what I want, because I deserve it."

While most boxing experts agree that Ngannou poses no threat to 6 foot 9 inches Fury, the French-Cameroonian mixed martial artist was known as a devastating striker in the Octagon and holds the Guinness world record for the hardest punch ever thrown. His overhand right, when converted into horsepower, is akin to being hit by a small family car. 

The fight will go ahead on 28 October and will launch the 2023 Riyadh Season, an annual entertainment and sports festival funded by the Saudi state.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of using of "sportswashing" the country’s dire human rights record, with the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) paying tens of millions to bring the Fury-Ngannou clash to the kingdom.

Far from addressing any of these accusations, Fury heaped praise on GEA chairman Turki Al-Alsheikh, as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has overseen Saudi Arabia's social modernisation drive.