In this week’s Fight Talk we look at the possibility of boxer Dillian Whyte taking on UFC’s Francis Ngannou, Tyson Fury becoming the richest fighter in the last year, Carl Froch reminiscing about the time he “flattened” George Groves in front of 80,000 fans six years ago and Mike Tyson rocking up at All Elite Wrestling.
Dillian Whyte v Francis Ngannou – could it happen?
Since UFC star Conor McGregor swapped the Octagon for a boxing ring in his loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2017, there have been countless rumours of boxers and mixed martial artists swapping disciplines.
Some hardcore boxing fans think it makes a mockery of the sport but a crossover bout, as demonstrated by McGregor and Mayweather, can capture the imagination of the public.
And it can make the fighters a lot of money.
One of the rumours which seems like it could have legs is UFC contender Francis Ngannou taking on Britain’s Dillian Whyte.
Former kickboxing champion Whyte is set to take on Russian Alexander Povetkin in July. But he has made no secret of the fact he would like to try his hand at MMA, although Cameroonian Ngannou has said he’d be happily make the move to boxing.
Here’s Ngannou trying to keep up with the speed of American lightweight boxer Ryan Garcia…
Whether he’d be any match for Whyte under boxing rules can be debated. But could it actually happen? Would both heavyweights jeopardise potential world title shots in their respective sports for this?
Well it looked like it could be a real possibility when Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn announced there would be an ‘ePress conference’ between the two fighters over a video call.
There was even a head-to-head poster mocked up…
But within 24 hours the face-to-face (or zoom-to-zoom) was off…
Matchroom Boxing said it was cancelled at Team Ngannou’s request. But UFC president Dana White may have had a part to play…
So Whyte v Ngannou (in a boxing ring, the Octogan, or some hybrid fight) won’t happen any time soon.
But it’s already old news. We’ve moved onto the next rumour as Briton Derek Chisora told BBC Sport he could compete in MMA with Bellator Promotions.
Tyson ‘Money’ Fury?
The Tyson Fury story could be a future Hollywood blockbuster. In just two years, the Briton had gone from weighing 30 stone and problems with drinks, drugs and depression to becoming WBC heavyweight champion.
And his remarkable comeback was illustrated this week when Forbes listed him as the highest earning combat sports athlete in the last year.
Fury took home $57m (£46.2m) – not bad for a year’s work.
WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua wasn’t too far behind in the list, with $47m (£38.1m).
Joshua is set to take on his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev next while Fury is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder in a third fight.
Should both Britons come through it, it doesn’t take a Forbes’ expert to work out that a Fury v Joshua undisputed bout would be the richest fight in world boxing .
‘Not many come back from being Cobra’d’
On Sunday it was the exactly six years since the Carl Froch v George Groves mega fight at Wembley Stadium.
After Froch won the first bout in Manchester courtesy of a controversial stoppage, he clinically knocked out Groves in the rematch in front of – yep, as he keeps on reminding us – 80,000 fans.
Froch, the ultimate wind-up merchant, marked the anniversary with this tongue-in-cheek tweet…
Tyson & Cejudo rock up at All Elite Wrestling
Undoubtedly the boxing story of lockdown has been Mike Tyson’s plans to fight again at the age of 53.
Accompanied by UFC fighters including two-division champion Henry Cejudo, Tyson made his way to the ring, confronted All Elite Wrestling’s Chris Jericho, ripped off his t-shirt and then a “brawl” ensued.
It’s fair to say that ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is back in the limelight. And he’s loving it.
Suits you, sir
Charlie Edwards signed with Queensberry Promotions last week, and the former WBC flyweight champion looked the part as he suited up for an interview with his new promoter Frank Warren…
But Edwards later showed us that he is no different to the thousands of Britons working from home. The top half for show, bottom half for comfort…