In the past few years, there has been more cross-sport interaction between Boxing and MMA than ever before. Since the UFC allowed Conor McGregor to box Floyd Mayweather, there have been many UFC fighters attempting to shoot their shot on social media to try and land that big boxing payday.
One fighter who has previously been vocal about his desire to venture into boxing is UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou; who openly discussed this in October 2021 on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani. Recently, reigning WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury took to Twitter to call out Ngannou.
Ngannou responded, “How about MMA rules with boxing gloves? I can do you that favor.”
Fury countered: “You want to come into my world calling me & Wilder out to a boxing match? What I can guarantee is you would be knocked out & also paid your highest purse to be so! So have a think”
Ngannou then said “After I handle business on Jan 22 I’ll fight you under any special ruleset you want. In a ring, an octagon, or a phone booth.”
Chael Sonnen Reacts
Although this back and forth may have excited a lot of combat sports fans, one man who did not enjoy it was former UFC title challenger ‘The American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen. In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Sonnen discussed the issue and had this to say:
“So Francis has let Tyson know that as soon as he finished business here with Ciryl Gane, he will fight Tyson anywhere. In a ring, in a cage, or in a phone booth. Now how are you going to get a camera in a phone booth? What does that look like? The fans fill up an arena, there’s a phone booth in the middle and they go in? Whoever comes out is the winner because we can’t see what’s going on in there? The whole thing just got weird when they said phone booth.”
“But Tyson, Tyson Fury added to the silliness himself by letting Francis know that he would box Francis wearing MMA gloves. Where are you going to box in MMA gloves? Who is going to try and sanction that? You just limited our options and who is going to watch that? You can’t call it boxing. Because boxing isn’t done with 4-ounce gloves. So now you’ve got a new sport created. It’s just weird. Where is the pride within your sport? If you are a boxer you don’t change the rules of boxing. You stand by your sport. This is how we do it here if this is where you’re coming from. There are discussions you can have within the sport of boxing as silly as they seem, but you cannot go and wear MMA gloves that are no longer boxing. Why don’t they just arm wrestle?”
Sonnen discussed the subject for over 11 minutes in the video seen above
Francis Ngannou is to make the first defense of his Heavyweight belt against interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on January 22nd. Do you think Ngannou will remain in the UFC after this bout? Or will he venture into boxing?
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