EXCLUSIVE: Aussie UFC king Robert Whittaker reveals the ONLY thing that would give Francis Ngannou a chance against Tyson Fury in boxing – and explains why he wants Jake Paul in the UFC
- Tyson Fury has all but guaranteed crossover fight with Ngannou will happen
- Cameroonian star refusing to sign new UFC contract unless he can box Fury
- Whittaker says rules for bout must change if Ngannou is to have a chance
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury guaranteed he’d meet UFC superstar Francis Ngannou in the ring after he disposed of Dillian Whyte in April – and according to Aussie octagon king Robert Whittaker, the boxer is destined to win unless the rules are changed in his opponent’s favour.
Fury said a bout between him and the MMA heavyweight title holder will be ‘something never before seen in the history of our sport’ – and while UFC boss Dana White has shot the idea down in flames, Ngannou remains very keen to make it happen.
The Cameroonian slugger is even refusing to sign a new contract unless it has a clause allowing him to box Fury.
Robert Whittaker – seen here beating Jared Connonier at UFC 254 – says one boxing rule will need to be changed in a big way for Francis Ngannou to have a fighting chance against Fury
The Aussie UFC star is a huge fan of Fury (pictured knocking out Dillian Whyte in April) and says he will ‘dismantle’ the Cameroonian in the ring
However, Whittaker believes he’d stand no chance against the ‘Gypsy King’ unless the rules are changed to give him a puncher’s chance.
‘Tyson Fury will dismantle Ngannou in a boxing fight,’ the Aussie middleweight told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Tyson Fury is phenomenal – big fan, by the way – he’s a living legend and he’s just so good at what he does. He is built for it. His reach and his height is stupid.
‘That’s not diminishing Ngannou, he’s a serious fighter with phenomenal power, but Fury has fought the biggest hitters in the world.
‘For Ngannou to have a good shot at winning in a boxing fight it would have to be with smaller gloves. Four-ounce gloves, that would be so dangerous – it wouldn’t go past the first.’
Ngannou has ‘phenomenal’ punching power, according to Whittaker – and using far lighter gloves in a boxing bout with Fury would even the playing field, he believes
Boxers from heavyweight down to super welterweight wear 10-ounce gloves for fights, so the reduction Whittaker would like to see would make the impact of the fighters’ punches far greater than usual.
The previous crossover fight between a UFC and boxing champion – the August 2017 bout between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr – did phenomenal business and gave both sports a huge amount of exposure.
Whittaker believes another crossover fighter, Jake Paul, has much to offer in the octagon.
‘I’d love to see Jake Paul come into the UFC. Either we are going to see someone defy all odds or we are going to see a complete beatdown and I am happy for both,’ he said of the social media personality turned professional boxer.
Social media star turned professional boxer Jake Paul (left, fighting former UFC champion Tyron Woodley) would be a huge drawcard in the octagon
‘You can’t go around saying you’re the best fighter in the world if you don’t do mixed martial arts because around the corner is a man that can put you on your back and make you look silly.
‘If a grown man can hold another grown man down for 25 mins until their mum comes and picks them up then you got beat up dude, you’ve lost all credit. You can’t be the best fighter in the world if a grown-a** man can hold you down, I don’t understand that.
‘I think all fighters should come to MMA.’
Whittaker is currently shooting for a third fight against Israel Adesanya after losing to the New Zealander earlier this year.
He faces Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris in September.