Deontay Wilder wants to fight Francis Ngannou next

By Boxing News - 02/17/2023 - Comments

By Craig Daly: Deontay Wilder says he wants to fight Francis Ngannou next in either a boxing or MMA-level fight, and he’s excited about taking this match.

The former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) says he’s leaving it up to Ngannou to choose whether he wants it to be under boxing rules or MMA, and he’s already been told by the 34-year-old that he wants to fight him in boxing.

Deontay states that he’s also got another offer for an MMA fight, and he’s accepted it. He’s not saying who it is, but it’s got to be a big enough name for him to have already accepted it.

For boxing fans, it’s disappointing that Wilder is choosing to go this route with his career by targeting non-boxers for his next fight, but it appears that his focus is now money over winning world titles and competing against the young, hungry boxers.

It’s questionable whether boxing fans will be interested in paying to watch Wilder compete in MMA and/or face a non-boxer like Franciso Ngannou.

In that case, it would be the MMA fans that would be the ones purchasing an event involving Wilder facing one of their fighters, such as the 34-year-old Ngannou, who is looking to reinvent himself in boxing.

“It doesn’t matter if we do MMA first or boxing first. I’m letting Francis [Ngannou] choose what he wants to do,” said Deontay Wilder to 78SPORTSTV. “I made the offers, and everything is going good.

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“I’m hearing some other stuff. Maybe he just wants to do boxing. I said we can do MMA or boxing. He came back to me and said, ‘We can do boxing in two different places.’ I ain’t going to give you full details about what we got going on.

“I’ll do boxing or MMA first, either one. That will be solely up to him [Ngannou], and we’ll go from there. At this point, he wants to do boxing, but he may change.

“I got another option to do boxing and MMA somewhere else. That’ll be crazy, and I accept that. I accepted that last night. So that fight is moving along. Once it occurs, I think it’ll be a beautiful thing.

“Whether we do all boxing or all MMA, I’m down for the smoke,” said Wilder.

“No bad blood. I’m still part of PBC. I’m just an open agent, an open fighter. I want to fight on all types of platforms; I’m willing to work with anyone,” said Wilder.