The dust has cleared surrounding Francis Ngannou’s departure from the UFC after contract negotiations failed. Many UFC analysts and fans alike have been sharing their take on the whole situation. UFC Light-heavyweight Anthony Smith also spoke on the Heavyweight champ’s potential future moves and how he might fare as a boxer.
Speaking on the Beleive You Me podcast, Anthony claimed, Let’s say he gets the Tyson Fury fight. We know how that’s going to go. There’s not a world where Francis Ngannou beats Tyson Fury (in boxing). Francis Ngannou is just a regular dude as a heavyweight boxer.”
He further evaluated Ngannou citing, “He’s uncommon in MMA. He’s unique. He’s very special. But in professional boxing, he’s average at best. He’s an average puncher, he’s a below-average boxer, he’s below average in his footwork and movement, and he’s below average in his defense. He’s not going to fare that well as a heavyweight professional boxer.
So because he has a fantastic name and an incredible highlight reel in MMA, he’s going to get a big fight for sure. But probably just one.”
What do the stats say about the potential boxing career of Francis Ngannou?
We must not forget that MMA and Boxing are entirely different sports. Sure both sports allow their fighters to punch the lights off their opponents but the difference is in the details. MMA allows way more range of movement while also presenting different positions to hold the battles, while boxing is comparatively one-dimensional.
Francis was well-known for knocking his opponents out with his sledgehammer-like punches but we can’t forget the difference in gloves used by both sports. Boxer’s usually only get to hit their opponents on the body or on the head. So having a strong chin is almost a must. MMA fighters like Cain Velasquez rely on their ground game and cardio to wear down their opponents but might not have the strongest chin.
So, ‘The Predator’ will probably not be able to knock out his opponents with such ease if he moves to Boxing. Opponents like Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are seasoned veterans who know their sport too well and can punch hard. Ngannou would fare much better fighting worn-down opponents like Derek Chisora or exhibition matches against YouTuber Jake Paul.
Who do you think the former champion fights next?