LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou wants to show that he’s not just an MMA fighter trying to box.
Ngannou makes his professional boxing debut against Tyson Fury in a 10-round bout on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The former UFC heavyweight champion is known for his one-punch knockout power, which has shut the lights off for the likes of Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem and Cain Velasquez. But Ngannou insists he has more to offer than just a big punch.
“In fact, that’s what I’m going to prove,” Ngannou said during Tuesday’s open workout media scrum in Las Vegas. “That’s why I’m doing this. I think, OK, the one-shot guy, you can get away with the one shot for some time, but not always. I have heard that same story before. Looks like deja vu.”
Ngannou’s dream in combat sports started in boxing before he decided to make the transition to MMA. So “The Predator” says he’s simply going back to his roots.
“I know there is a difference,” Ngannou said. “I never thought it was the same thing. There’s some similarities, basically, as a combat sport, but they are very different on the focus, the training on the stance, and everything. Just a little reminder: I started doing boxing even before MMA, and when I came to MMA, I had to adjust my boxing style to fit in MMA. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work.”
For Ngannou, his fight with WBC heavyweight champ Fury is not MMA vs. boxing.
“I see it more like two boxers,” Ngannou said. “For this fight, I’m not training with an MMA mentality like I’m an MMA guy. I’m going out there to box. I’m training as a boxer. I’m not seeing myself as an MMA guy, so I hope you guys,too, see me as a boxer.”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.