Terence Crawford has a word of advice for Francis Ngannou as he considers potential opponents ahead of his boxing debut: choose carefully. Earlier this year, Ngannou ended his free agency and signed a multi-fight agreement with Professional Fighters League (PFL) that came with several terms, including the opportunity to box. Ahead of his departure from the UFC, the ‘Predator’ discussed boxing against Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, all of whom expressed interest in Ngannou.
That said, Ngannou has yet to secure any of those bouts. As of yet, his boxing dream is still more fantasy than reality. However, as the former UFC heavyweight champion continues his search for an opponent, Crawford wants him to reconsider his options.
“Listen, that guy is a puncher,” said Crawford of Ngannou on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “He’s doing his thing in MMA, but it’s different over there, calling out the top heavyweights of the world today. I don’t see him having a chance with either one of those guys, and that’s just being honest.”
Terence Crawford warns Francis Ngannou to stay away from Deontay Wilder
In the UFC, Ngannou was billed as the most powerful puncher in the promotion. Names such as Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velazquez and Stipe Miocic fell victim to the hands of the ‘Predator,’ who hopes to replicate the same success in the boxing ring.
Crawford isn’t denying that Ngannou could have some success, but would prefer to see the Xtreme Couture fighter try and test his power against ‘lower-tier’ boxers instead of Joshua, Fury or Wilder, especially the latter.
“No, no, no [he doesn’t have to stick to MMA], he’s got some skills,” said Crawford. “I would tell him, get your feet wet, try to fight some of those lower-tier guys first, just to feel yourself out, get used to being in the ring and going rounds. It’s different. MMA and boxing are different. So just get used to some people with skills combing back at you and out-thinking you, the whole realm of boxing before you go over there and try to mess with those guys.
“Because one guy that you’re going to one shot — and if you mess up, you’re going to be knocked out into next week for messing with — is Deontay Wilder,” continued Crawford. “He hits you, you’re going to sleep. Deontay Wilder, he hits you, you’re going to sleep. Tyson Fury, he went to sleep and woke up. I don’t see too many other guys doing that. Deontay Wilder, he’s one of the biggest punchers ever, so just keep that in mind.”
Is Deontay Wilder vs. Francis Ngannou a possibility?
Deontay Wilder has already agreed to a fight with Francis Ngannou, even offering him a two-fight agreement that would see one in boxing and one in MMA.
“I love Francis,” said Wilder to Trill Boxing Talk. “When I met him at the [UFC] APEX in Vegas, we was talking about it during that time and I’m still interested in that fight. I would love to go to Africa for that one. I would love to do that one in Africa.
“I even thought about this idea,” continued Wilder. “Let’s make it a two-fight deal. Everybody always comes to boxing. Let’s do this — you come to my s—t, I come to yours. You come to my house, I come to yours. A true tea party. I love that idea. I’m a true warrior.”
As far as Wilder, Ngannou previously said there were ongoing discussions with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ and his team, so perhaps they can come to an agreement.
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