Dillian Whyte And Francis Ngannou Square Off in Special YouTube Press Conference Tomorrow
By: Hans Themistode
It’s been nearly three months since live boxing has made its way to our television screens, but with things beginning to pick back up, promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to host star studded events. Even if that means holding crossover matchups with the UFC.
Over the past few weeks, Dillian Whyte has spent plenty of time on social media. The interim WBC Heavyweight champion hasn’t been uploading memes or watching current events. Instead, he’s been using his free time to call out UFC star Francis Ngannou. And unlike the last crossover event which took place in August of 2017, in which UFC’s biggest star Conor McGregor was stopped in the 10th round against boxing’s biggest name in Floyd Mayweather, a contest between Ngannou and Whyte could take place in both the ring and the octagon.
“We can do two fights, one in the ring and one in the cage,” said Whyte during a recent interview. “We’ve both got power, we’re both in our prime and one punch can end it. I want to get it on and rock the world.”
Ngannou, a 6 ft 4 inch Heavyweight that has the sort of power that makes you wince in pain as you watch him destroy his opponents from the safety of your home, needed only 20 seconds in his last outing which took place on May 9th.
The two have gone back and forth for a number of weeks, and it now appears that things are seriously headed towards a mega showdown as they are set to take part in a YouTube press conference tomorrow at 2pm Eastern Time.
President of the UFC Dana White, has always been reluctant about placing his fighters at a disadvantage. However, he does enjoy a good fight, and Hearn believes White would be fully onboard.
“Dana loves great fights, so I’ll try to make this happen. This isn’t a gimmick, this is two of the best and baddest in the world. Whyte vs. Ngannou would be huge.”
As for actually fighting Ngannou, not many are lining up to do that inside of the octagon. But in the boxing ring, he would be at a major disadvantage. Every single one of his 15 victories may have come before the final bell, but that was under MMA rules. In a boxing ring, not many are giving him much of a chance. And that would include former WBC Cruiserweight titlist Tony Bellow.
“Ngannou stands zero chance in a boxing ring,” Bellew said to Sky Sports. “It is a completely different sport with a completely different set of rules and totally different technique. Boxing is so different to MMA and Ngannou doesn’t stand a hope in boxing.”
There’s no denying the advantage that Whyte would have against Ngannou inside of a boxing ring, but that’s not to say that his chances would be remote to pull off the upset. In fact, giving Ngannou “zero chance” is a statement that promoter Frank Warren would be incredulous to.
“Let me tell you something about Ngannou — he can box at a high level. … Ngannou was standing in a weird stance. Then just stood upright and started throwing huge bombs at Joe’s head! It took Joe a round to work him out. Ngannou and Joe went eight rounds of holding their feet. It was the most entertaining spar I’ve ever seen Joe in. The hairs on the back of the neck stood up.”
Still, even with Ngannou’s sneaky good boxing ability, he would be a massive underdog. At least when the two are inside of the ring. Should things head over to the cage however, the UFC knockout artist should hold all of the chips. But that would be a statement that Whyte would laugh uncontrollably over.
The interim WBC titlist isn’t just good with his hands but also his feet as he went on to having a 20-1 record in the kickboxing ranks. He also had success in the MMA world as well, winning his one and only pro bout via first round stoppage on December 6th, 2008.
Anyone who saw Ngannou destroy his last opponent in 20 seconds was left in awe. But with Whyte winning his own contest in 12 seconds, albeit over a decade ago, he has his own credentials that won’t leave him at a complete disadvantage inside of the cage.
Hearn is aiming to have the contest take place at the backend of this year. But first things first, Whyte must take care of business against former title challenger Alexander Povetkin next month before he can even dream of a matchup with Ngannou.