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Heavyweight giants Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou ready for Riyadh rumble

The combat sports crossover event of the millennium is only two days away.

WBC & lineal heavyweight boxing world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and lineal MMA heavyweight world champion Francis Ngannouwill lock horns this Saturday, Oct. 28, at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou faceoff

The long-awaited battle of behemoths kicks off Riyadh Season, one of the world’s leading entertainment festivals, which runs throughout the winter months in the Kingdom’s largest city.

Promoted by Queensberry, Top Rank and GIMIK Fight Promotions, the Fury-Ngannou card will stream live on Top Rank on ESPN+ PPV in the United States beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. Priced at $79.99 across all distributors, it also will be available via cable and satellite pay-per-view providers.

The pay-per-view undercard, an all-heavyweight affair, features a 12-round showdown between undefeated British standouts Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) and David Adeleye (12-0, 11 KOs), along with a 10-round battle between former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs) and Canadian knockout artist Simon Kean (23-1, 22 KOs).

Montreal-based wrecking ball Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) will take on the upset-minded Junior Anthony Wright (20-4-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round clash, and Moses Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) will open the pay-per-view broadcast in a six-rounder against Istvan Bernath (10-1, 8 KOs).

At Thursday’s press conference, an eventful show that included an animated John Fury (Tyson’s father), this is what the fighters had to say:

Tyson Fury

“It’s absolutely unbelievable to be out here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To be top of the bill, the main event, is even more special. We’ve all got a lot to be thankful for. We’ve all come a long way to be here. This has all happened in a short space of time. And to see it all unfold is really amazing.”

“Francis Ngannou is a big man. I see he’s taken a bit of advice from me with the clothes he’s wearing. He’s looking a bit snazzy. They say the finest form of flattery is imitation. And he’s got his suit on with no shirt on, and I started that! So, he’s imitating. But, there’s one thing I say, and it’s that many will imitate, but no one will ever replicate. Because there’s only one Gypsy King.

“How do I prepare for a guy like this? It’s pretty difficult, but in America, we say a statement like this, ‘I’m gonna knock a motherf***er out!’ And that’s how we do it. I’ve been working with SugarHill {Steward} to knock him out cold on Saturday night, and I have no doubt in my mind that I will knock him out.

“He’s a big, strong guy. Obviously, he’s got a good punch. But so am I. I’m a big, strong guy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be the world heavyweight champion. But I believe there’s levels to the game. And he’s going to find out my level on Saturday night.”

Francis Ngannou

“This is a dream come true. And I remember four years ago, when I first met Mike Tyson, my only request was for him to be in my corner if I fight Tyson Fury. People thought I was losing it. They thought I was crazy. They thought it would never happen. But here we are. The fight is happening. So, I’m living a dream. This has always been my dream. It wasn’t easy, but we are here.

“I want to thank Tyson Fury for taking the fight and taking this risk because there is a lot of risk here for him. He might go to sleep on Saturday night. But I appreciate his courage, and I thank him.”

“This camp has been different from my past camps. It’s a different experience, a different beast. I was aware that there was a mountain in front of me, so that’s why we started the camp a lot earlier. And it went well, but having somebody like Mike Tyson around and my coach Dewey Cooper was very helpful in terms of approaching this fight.”

“We got Mike Tyson in, and the first thing he said that stuck in my mind is when he said, ‘Listen, he has two hands and two feet like you.’ And I got that. And that’s enough for Saturday night. Tyson Fury is definitely the best in boxing, but that’s stopping on Saturday night.”

Credit: Top Rank

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