Pro fight: Francis Ngannou will get chance to be 0-1 against Tyson Fury

Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury won't be an exhibition after all. Plus Teofimo is back and Devin Haney is out on bail.

By: Zane Simon | 2 months ago

While UFC 290 has dominated recent headlines, there’s been plenty of big news in the boxing world as well. Francis Ngannou’s bout against Tyson Fury is going full steam ahead, despite all the hand wringing and poor prognostications from Daniel Cormier and Dana White. Teofimo Lopez has returned after a retirement that barely lasted even one month. And Devin Haney is in trouble again, for more than a weigh-in shove this time.

I don’t want to step on Lucas Rezende’s toes by biting his ‘Brazil Beat’ format, but here’s a quick wrap of the top boxing stories of the moment.

Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury won’t be an exhibition

When news of Francis Ngannou’s impending bout against Tyson Fury first broke, word on the street was that the fight would be purely exhibition stuff. Fury got the go-ahead from the WBC to stall any upcoming mandatory title defenses and fight the former UFC heavyweight champion in Saudi Arabia just for kicks, no real stakes on the line.

“This is what I’ve heard,” Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing social back in June. “It will be an exhibition, apparently. No knockdowns or anything. I don’t know, I’m only telling you what I’ve heard. Who knows what’s what? But, I think that is, apparently, gonna be the next fight. Disappointing, but it is what it is.”

To say the idea Hearn posited sounded lame is an understatement. As our own Tim Bissell pointed out at the time “If what Hearn suggests is true, we could be on the verge of seeing two of the best and most interesting heavyweight fighters on the planet going into business on a PPV hard sparring session.”

If Ngannou’s dream was to test himself in the boxing ring, a “no knockdowns” exhibition bout would have been the most lifeless version of that test. Fortunately it now appears that is not the case. MMA Fighting reports that while the bout still won’t be for Fury’s WBC title, it will be contested as a full rules professional fight that will be officially recorded on both fighters’ record.

That’s right, you heard it here first, Francis Ngannou is about to become an 0-1 professional boxer, for real.

Their PPV bout is set to go down on October 28th, with the Telegraph reporting that the bout will be 10 rounds under standard boxing rules, with three judges at ringside. As of yet, no undercard bouts have been announced.

No surprise, Teofimo Lopez has returned

Immediately following his dominating victory over Josh Taylor, Teofimo Lopez made a shocking announcement. Having just taken the WBO and Ring light welterweight titles to become a major belt holder for the first time since his stunning upset loss to George Kambosos in 2021, Lopez told fans that he was hanging up his gloves.

“Twenty-five years young, seven-time world champion. Two-time lineal world champion, two-divisional world champion. I mean, two hall of fame careers in one at just 25. You can’t tell me I’m not great,” Lopez told FightHub as he exited the arena. “You cannot tell me I’m not the double greatest since Muhammad Ali. This is what I do. This is what I do best. Now, just to stir it up, I might retire after this fight.”

When pressed as to the seriousness of his statement, Lopez doubled down, explaining that “I’m kind of tired. I’m not getting paid enough. A million dollars? Get the f—k out of here.”

Things even went so far that Lopez started telling people he was going to vacate his belt. Maybe he really and truly was done… Maybe pigs really can fly.

Earlier this week, Lopez called out undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney and WBO Inter-Continental light welterweight champion Arnold Barboza Jr.

Haney is fresh off a strong performance over Vasiliy Lomachenko back in May to defend his five major title belts. At 30-0 he’s very much the man to beat in the 130-140 lb range. If Lopez can wrangle a bigger payday than he got to fight Taylor it seems likely that’s the bout he will be targeting.

“Came out of retirement (I guess) because the next move was for Devin Haney to fight sorry ass Arnold Barboza for my WBO championship title at 140 lbs,” Lopez wrote in a message on Twitter.

“F’ that. I’m tired of helping this kid be something that he is not. And that’s a real champion!”

Even if Haney isn’t the next fight for Lopez, there are plenty of options on the table including Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, or Regis Prograis. Whatever he ends up doing, at just 25 and with a 19-1 record, it seems unlikely that Lopez will be truly done with boxing any time soon—whatever other dramatic proclamations he might make.

Devin Haney arrested on weapons charge

Unfortunately for Haney, even if he were interested in a fight with Lopez, it looks like the lightweight champion has some (mildly) serious legal trouble to clear up before he can return to competition. TMZ reports that Haney was taken into custody late Wednesday/early Thursday night in Hollywood, CA on a weapons charge.

The boxing star was apparently leaving the Catch L.A. nightclub, when his vehicle failed to signal a lane change. Police pulled the car over and were told that there was a gun inside the car. Eventually a semi-automatic handgun was recovered from underneath the driver’s seat.

Reports state that Haney was not actually driving at the time, but because the vehicle was registered to him and no one else in the vehicle was willing to claim ownership of the firearm, Haney was arrested for “felony possession of a concealed weapon.”

According to TMZ, Haney was released from custody on Thursday after posting a $35,000 bail and is expected to appear before a judge in August.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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