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Francis Ngannou vows he’s not going to play ‘Fury’s game’; opens up on Oleksandr Usyk

Throughout his personal life, Francis Ngannou has overcome insurmountable odds. The former UFC heavyweight champion will be looking to do the same in the sporting arena when he takes on Tyson Fury.

The much-hyped ‘Battle of the Baddest’ takes place this weekend as Ngannou makes his professional boxing debut against world champion, Fury.

The boxing purists may not be exactly thrilled by this upcoming Saudi Arabia extravaganza, though for the ex-UFC man this is the culmination of his sporting dreams.

Ngannou was born and raised in Cameroon where he started working at the age of 10. Sixteen years later, the heavyweight decided to move to France in order to pursue his dreams of becoming a boxer.

His attempts to cross into Europe were foiled six times by Moroccan authorities, who punished him by dropping the fighter in the desert or handing him a temporary jail sentence.

Ngannou eventually crossed into Europe on the seventh attempt and slowly but surely entered the world of MMA.

The Cameroonian went on to reach the pinnacle of the sport in March 2021 when he defeated Stipe Miocic to claim the UFC heavyweight championship.

Despite this, the 37-year-old always had a sporting itch that was never truly scratched – professional boxing.

This weekend marks Ngannou’s opportunity to fulfil his dream as he squares off with the number one heavyweight on the planet.

Ngannou said: "I can't believe it. Walking from there, I looked at it like, ‘The boy made it.'

"I didn't try to replicate what Fury would do. I'm not going in there to play Fury's game. I'm going there to play my own game.

“My training was based on me, how I can fight, and that's what me and my coaches worked on. It went well. Tough, but it went well.

"I'm aware of my lack of experience in boxing, but I am a man of challenges, and I've overcome a lot of challenges.

"Before anything can happen on Saturday night, there are two. We are already the two baddest men on the planet. We're just aiming for the first spot."

Many boxing fans are somewhat upset by the fact Fury is battling Ngannou – a boxing novice – instead of fellow world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

When asked about the Ukrainian, Ngannou added: "I've been waiting on Tyson Fury for four years. At the time, I didn't know about Oleksandr Usyk. When the opportunity came, I wanted Tyson Fury. He's the guy."

Photo Credit: Queensberry Boxing 

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