Francis Ngannou vs Dillian Whyte? Dominant UFC star agrees to crossover boxing bout after call-out

Matt Davies
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

There has been a perpetual interest in crossover fights throughout history, with fans desperate to find the ultimate fighter regardless of their respective discipline.

Going all the way back to 1976, Muhammad Ali travelled to Japan to take on wrestler Antonio Inoki in a mixed rule fight, while more recently UFC star Conor McGregor entered the boxing ring to take on pound-for-pound all-time great Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

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With both events generating significant interest, another UFC-boxing showdown may be on the cards. UFC phenom Francis Ngannou insists he would face any of the top heavyweights in a boxing ring, daring Dillian Whyte - who earlier called out the France-based fighter - to step into the octagon.

Ngannou has needed an accumulative total of two minutes and 42 seconds to knock his last four opponents, most recently demolishing Jairzinho Rozenstruik in just 20 seconds at UFC 249 earlier in May.

And of taking on the top names in boxing, Ngannou told Sky Sports: "I know Anthony Joshua, but Dillian Whyte? I only heard about him when people sent me articles about him. I didn't know him before.

"Everyone says what they want. I don't think anything about that. If he wants to fight MMA we will find out."

He added: "Yes, I would have a boxing match. Whoever is possible and whenever is possible. The top heavyweights. I am always confident in my power. I have no doubts with my power."

Whyte is expected to face Russian Alexander Povetkin next in a behind-closed-doors event, but he has also had MMA fights in the past.

Speaking on the 'Talk The Talk' podcast with Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew, Whyte said: “I’ve had MMA fights. There’s one on the internet, my debut, lasted only 20 seconds or whatever.

"Their game plan would be to kick the legs and take me down,” he said of Nganno's team. “He would never try and stand up with me, he’s not stupid.

"He would never try and do that. The thing is, I come from a martial arts background. I can wrestle and I can do Thai boxing. It’s a fight, I don’t care. I will have it.”

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