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Fury to fight former UFC champion in Saudi Arabia in ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ contest

Morecambe’s WBC heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury, will next fight in Saudi Arabia, it has been revealed today.

Tyson Fury, the current undefeated Lineal and WBC heavyweight champion of the world will take on Francis Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, on Saturday, October 28th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, it has been announced by Frank Warren’s promotion company, Queensberry.

The non-title clash, which won’t see Fury defend his belts, aims to find out who is the “Baddest Man on the Planet” and will take place under the official rules of professional boxing, with 3 judges ringside adopting the 10-point must system.

Fury hasn’t fought since last December, when he beat Derek Chisora for a third time via a 10th-round stoppage in what represented a third defence of his WBC world championship.

The mega-fight, one of the richest in history, will take place in a regulation boxing ring under the standard boxing rules in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s largest city.

Tyson Fury said: “As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away! This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK.

‘’I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights. I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft. Francis looked tough when he jumped in the ring after the Whyte fight, but there is no one tougher than me, and you’ll all see that in devastating fashion on October 28.

‘’I’d like to thank my promoters Frank Warren and Bob Arum, my manager Spencer Brown, and the guys at Riyadh Season for making this incredible event possible. It’s going to be a fight for the ages. Get up!”

Francis Ngannou added: “I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years. My dream was always to box, and to box the best. After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet. 

‘’I’d like to thank Riyadh Season and my team at 3Point0 Labs for helping put this event together. All I will say to Tyson for now is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”

His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of the General Entertainment Authority and Head of Riyadh Season, said: “Riyadh Season 2023 is back for its fourth edition of world class experiences and live events — keeping its claim as one of the most anticipated entertainment seasons worldwide.

‘’Following its opening ceremony, Riyadh Season 2023 will kick-off with an electrifying boxing match on October 28th, 2023. MMA and boxing audiences will witness the ultimate clash between two champions, Tyson Fury against Francis Ngannou. This face-off will set a new standard for such an event.”

Frank Warren, Queensberry Chairman, said: “This heavyweight clash has ‘war’ written all over it. Tyson Fury is the most exciting heavyweight on the planet. It is a game changer; we didn’t want to wait for Tyson to get out and here we are at Riyadh Season in a super-fight.

‘’Tyson is at his best when he is breaking new boundaries and this event is one of a kind. History will be made in Riyadh with a battle of the giants from the two leading codes of combat fighting. Tyson is the true King of the Ring and Francis Ngannou will present an intriguing challenge as he has the much publicised Most Powerful Punch in the world, this guy has a sledgehammer in each hand.

‘’Can Tyson avoid the sledgehammer all fight? What happens if it lands? It will be a truly spectacular event and Riyadh Season will provide a stage fit for two champions in one boxing ring.”

34-year-old Fury is undefeated in the ring, with the Gypsy King’s record standing at 33 wins and a draw (24 KOs).

In 2021, Francis Ngannou became the UFC’s first-ever African Heavyweight Champion, knocking out Stipe Miocic in the second round. In January 2022, Ngannou defended his title against the undefeated interim UFC Champion Ciryl Gane, winning the fight via unanimous decision.

In late 2022, Ngannou decided to enter free agency and departed the UFC following the end of his contract, subsequently signing as a global strategic partner with global MMA co-leader Professional Fighters League (PFL) and their Super Fights Division in 2023, further serving as the Chairman of PFL Africa, set to launch in 2025.

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