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Fury vs. Ngannou on ESPN+ PPV in U.S

Image: Fury vs. Ngannou on ESPN+ PPV in U.S

By Charles Brun: Promoter Bob Arum says the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou fight will be shown live on ESPN+ PPV in the U.S. and on TNT Sports PPV in the UK on October 28th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He didn’t say what the pay-per-price is for the event.

The 10 round fight will count on the records of both fighters, but Fury’s WBC heavyweight title won’t be at stake. There would be a huge backlash if Fury were allowed to defend his WBC title against a Ngannou, as he’s making his pro debut in boxing.

It will need to be priced low in the U.S. to get boxing fans to purchase it because the fight is viewed as a money-grab bout to take advantage of the naive MMA fans, who admire what the former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou has done in the past. If the event is priced too high, it’ll bring in poor PPV numbers.

Boxing fans would take the Fury-Ngannou seriously if the 37-year-old Ngannou got some experience in the sport before fighting Fury, who some feel is the #1 heavyweight in the division.

What Ngannou did in the UFC doesn’t count because it’s a different sport, and those fighters never do well when they come over to boxing. Ngannou might as well be coming from the sport of golf because he has as much chance of beating Fury as Tiger Woods.

If Ngannou were to beat one or two of these heavyweights first, fans would take him seriously:

Deontay Wilder
Arslanbek Makhmudov
Zhilei Zhang
Oleksandr Usyk
Anthony Joshua
Filip Hrgovic
Jared Anderson
Andy Ruiz
Frank Sanchez
Martin Bakole

On social media, fans already say they’ll stream the Fury vs. Ngannou fight and not pay a penny to watch this albatross event.  With the huge purses that Fury & Ngannou are receiving for their fight, it will be difficult for the event to turn a profit.

Fury is rumored to be getting $50 million, which is an enormous sum to fighting a novice with a 0-0 record.

Fury isn’t popular in the U.S., so the people who purchase it on PPV will likely be Ngannou’s fans.

The World Boxing Council has created a special WBC ‘Riyadh Champion’ belt for the Fury-Ngannou fight. There’s no word yet on what the sanctioning fee will be for the winner to pay to win this specially made-up trinket belt.

“I’m the best that I can do because I’m the most elusive heavyweight champion,” said Fury during today’s press conference. “I’m expecting a war—this entertainment. If you beat me, you become the lineal heavyweight champion.

“Obviously, I’m getting paid a hell of a lot of money. And I get millions of people from MMA and boxing who will watch it. Whether they like that I’m doing it or not, guess what they will do? Still, watch it,” said Tyson Fury about why he’s fighting Francis Ngannou.

“This is a massive event all around the world, but it’s particularly massive in the United States,” said Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum about the Fury vs. Ngannou event.

“The UFC has become one of the most popular sports in the United States, and Francis is a legend in that sport,” said Arum about Ngannou.

In reality, Ngannou briefly held a heavyweight title in the UFC, making just one title defense after winning the belt in 2021. That hardly translates to him being a legend unless they’ve lowered the bar to what it takes to be called a legend.

“Tyson has performed so admirably in the United States over the past few years. He is a massive figure in sports, and now the fact that they’re coming together is something that has created tremendous interest in the United States.

“More important is the fact that we are seeing history made. Riyadh is about to become the entertainment capital in the area and maybe one of the greatest entertainment capitals in the world.

“This event is the kickoff event for the Riyadh’s emergence into the world of sports and entertainment. It will be a momentous fight, but more importantly, it will be long after myself and all of you out there are gone; a historic event for Riyadh for combat sports, and it’s an honor for Top Rank to be a part of it.

“A hell of a lot better than some of the writers are predicting because it’s clear Francis has not had boxing experience, so he’s training diligently,” said Arum when asked what kind of fight he sees happening between Fury and the inexperienced 37-year-old Ngannou, who will be lacing them up for the first time.

“I’ve watched these UFC tapes. I have never seen anybody hit with the power that Francs has. Tyson Fury, we know that he’s been in with strong punchers like Wilder. He’s got knocked down, and he’s picked himself up and managed to come out ahead.

“I think this is going to be one of the most exciting events that any of us have the opportunity to watch and it will be shown here [UK] on TNT pay-per-view in the UK and in the United States on ESPN+ on pay-per-view, plus all the cable systems and satellite providers.

“It’s truly a massive event, and as I told [promoter] Frank [Warren] before, it’s a privilege for both of us to be associated with thee event,” said Arum.

If there’s enough money offered to Fury, he’ll fight Ngannou inside the cage. However, if that’s the case, the WBC needs to strip Fury of his heavyweight title because that would be an additional fight in which he’s failed to defend his title. Fury last defended his WBC title against 39-year-old British journeyman Derek Chisora last December in London.

The WBC probably won’t strip Fury, as this is the same organization that has allowed Jermall Charlo to sit on his middleweight title for the last 2+ years [26 months] without defending it.

If the WBC is willing to let Jermall sit inactive without stripping him, they’ll let Fury do the same with hiss heavyweight titlee.

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