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Francis Ngannou: “I Can’t See Myself Retiring Without Boxing”

By: Hans Themistode

Becoming successful in Mixed Martial Arts takes a wide array of skills. Yet, for UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, he’s worked his way to the top of the division using his striking ability and pure power. Of his 16 wins, 12 of those victories have come well within the distance.

Due to his propensity to stand and bang with his opponents, Ngannou has become intrigued with making the transition to the world of boxing. Even as the UFC star prepares to defend his heavyweight crown against Ciryl Gane on January 22nd, at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Ngannou admits that he’s still very much interested in making the switch.

“It’s always been down the line,” said Ngannou during an interview with TMZ. “This is something that I’m not taking my eyes off of it. It’s gonna happen.”

As of late, more and more UFC fighters are transitioning over to the sport of boxing. Most recently, former UFC welterweight titlist Tyron Woodley made back-to-back appearances against Jake Paul in the squared circle, losing both. However, with Ngannou contractually bound to the UFC, as opposed to Woodley being a free agent, it presents the enormous heavyweight champion with a difficult obstacle to overcome.

That said, Ngannou is currently on the last fight of his lucrative deal. While the 35-year-old isn’t saying that he’ll focus his entire future on a new sport, he certainly wants to make sure that he’ll be able to take part at some point.

“Even when the UFC and I finally finalize a deal, the boxing part has to be into it. I can’t see myself retiring without boxing.”

In terms of who Ngannou would want his boxing debut to come against, look no further than the top of the division. Although shooting for the best of the best is ultimately an arduous task, something that would be exacerbated considering his lack of boxing experience, Ngannou isn’t concerning himself with the meticulous details of the sport. Instead, he’s focused on doing what he does best.

“Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, I would like to test myself to that level. It’s not the same sport but at the end of the day, it’s just about throwing hands, throwing punches. Having a good delivery system to throw those bombs. I’m sure if I deliver my own punches pretty good, I can make some damage.”

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