It appears Tyson Fury could close out 2023 with two fights – yes, two.
The WBC heavyweight champion has been promoting and preparing for his crossover fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia. And while the date for the Ngannou boxing match closes in, Fury announced he will also fight Oleksandr Usyk, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, for undisputed champ status in December or early 2024.
For Brendan Schaub, this was the ultimate show of disrespect.
“It’s so insulting if you’re Francis Ngannou’s camp,” Schaub said on his YouTube channel. “They’re just going, ‘This is going to be a cakewalk, and we’re just going to use that to prepare for Usyk. We’re not worried about getting cut or taking any damage. This fight is going to be so easy, we’re going to schedule the biggest fight of Tyson Fury’s career a few weeks after.’ That is the biggest FU I’ve ever seen in combat sports.”
He continued, “There’s zero respect there. I saw that and went, ‘Oh, what a flex, dude.’ That is the best sh*t talking I’ve ever seen, and he didn’t even have to do it. He just called up his guy and said, ‘Yeah, just announce it.'”
Schaub believes the booking of the Usyk fight shows how little of a threat Fury and his team think Ngannou will pose come Oct. 28.
“This is a side show to him,” Schaub said. “To Francis, this is as real as it gets. To Tyson, this is, ‘Yeah, I’m going to make that money and embarrass this dude, take a day off, maybe go to the pub, hang out with my wife, and shoot a reality show, and then we’ll just jump into camp and fight Usyk.'”
And while that may point to Fury’s level of confidence and maybe, to a degree, the difference in boxing skills and experience, Schaub also sees it as a good thing for Ngannou. He believes Fury is taking Ngannou lightly, which could lead to the champ’s demise.
“If Francis hits you flush on the face, the night is over,” Schaub said. “This kind of puts more chips in Francis’ corner. … You should be worried if in the countdowns, Tyson is saying how much he respects you and this is going to be his toughest fight. Then you need to go, ‘Oh, damn. We’re getting the A version of Tyson? We don’t have a shot.’ But if we get just a B version of Tyson, OK, OK.'”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.