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'why can't Ngannou challenge Fury?' - Says Mike Tyson in his Podcast

In one of boxing’s most memorable upsets, a young 22-year-old Mike Tyson, then the undefeated heavyweight champion, was shockingly defeated by a vastly underestimated Buster Douglas in Tokyo.

Now, 33 years later, Tyson finds himself intertwined in another potential epic surprise, albeit from a different perspective. He’s mentoring former UFC champion Francis Ngannou as he prepares for a monumental boxing match against the undefeated WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.

Making his boxing debut, Ngannou (with a 17-3 MMA record and 12 knockouts) is being guided by Tyson in what could be a historic match-up. Should Ngannou defeat Fury (boasting a 33-0-1 record with 24 knockouts), Tyson believes it could eclipse his own stunning loss to Douglas in terms of magnitude.

Discussing the upcoming fight on The Jim Rome Show, Tyson emphasized Ngannou’s power.

“Fury faced a knockdown early in his career, but he’s yet to meet someone with Ngannou’s power.”

Emphasizing Ngannou’s prowess, Tyson mentioned the fighter’s agility, speed, and dedication to representing his nation.

“Tyson’s never been in the ring with somebody that can punch this hard.

“[Ngannou] asked me to go all-out aggression. He’s moving his head. He’s getting it together, and he’s determined to do this stuff for his country, his people, his patriotic pride. This is really interesting. I’m very excited about doing this.”

“[An Ngannou win over Fury] – that would be a bigger upset than Douglas-Tyson.”

Drawing parallels to the boxing world, Tyson recalled the unexpected performance of Conor McGregor, an MMA fighter, who managed to go almost the distance against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

“Considering McGregor’s impressive performance against someone as skilled as Mayweather, why can’t Ngannou challenge Fury?”

In a chat on his podcast, Hotboxin’, Tyson praised Ngannou’s aptitude and potential after their training sessions, noting the fighter’s swift learning curve.

“This is what you have to look [at] when you think about him fighting Tyson Fury — Conor McGregor went 11 rounds or 10 rounds with Floyd Mayweather, the greatest fighter of his generation, if not all-time. If that can happen, why can’t [Ngannou] give Tyson a capable fight?” Tyson wondered. “Floyd Mayweather is the greatest fighter in the world as far as technique and style. So why doesn’t he have a chance if McGregor did well and did a great account of himself? Everybody respects him for his effort. Nobody said, ‘He’s a b!tch.’ No one is saying that.

“[Ngannou and I] worked out and I saw a lot of good qualities. He pretty much just needs to shake off some of the cobwebs and then it’s full speed ahead. You learn pretty quick, too, which I was really impressed with.”

As for Ngannou, he recognizes the importance of strategy. Citing renowned trainer Teddy Atlas’s wisdom on having an efficient “delivery system”, Ngannou believes that possessing power, like his knockout punch, is one thing, but effectively deploying it is crucial. He remains confident, with Tyson’s guidance, about finding the perfect strategy to challenge Fury.

“If I land a bomb on Tyson Fury, I think the lights turn off for him,” Ngannou said. “But now the problem is how to sharpen the weapon properly to land that bomb, because it’s good to have a bomb, but the great Teddy Atlas always says, ‘delivery system.’ You have to have a proper delivery system. That’s something that’s always stuck in my mind. You have to have a bomb, that’s cool, but how to have a good delivery system to aim and shoot [is more important], and that’s why Mike Tyson is here.”

Their bout, a highly anticipated match-up, will take place on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, available on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

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