Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury will be for a WBC belt, but not the one Fury holds

Tyson Fury's WBC belt isn't on the line against Francis Ngannou, so naturally, the WBC created a new one.

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 weeks ago
Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury will be for a WBC belt, but not the one Fury holds
Dean Fardell / Avalon / IMAGO

Tyson Fury is the current WBC heavyweight world champion, and he will be fighting lineal UFC champ Francis Ngannou this October. It’s supposedly a sanctioned professional boxing fight that will go on both men’s records, but if somehow the MMA fighter pulls off the massive upset, he won’t be going home with Fury’s world title.

Fury’s WBC world title won’t be on the line, but the winner will get a WBC title… technically.

Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury will be for the WBC Riyadh championship

In what’s become a common practice in boxing (and a sporadic “stupid” UFC thing too), the WBC decided they’re just going to create a new “special” belt for this huge event.

“We’ve partnered up with the WBC as well, who have a special commemorative belt for this event,” officials announced Thursday on the Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury pre-fight press conference.

Instead of putting Fury’s WBC title up for grabs, they just made up a new WBC title, and named it after the government backers of this big money fight.

“This isn’t for the WBC title, but … they’ve commissioned a belt, which is the Riyadh championship belt,” promoter Frank Warren said. “Hopefully this will be something that will be fought for every year, but this is a special special event.”

Instead of showing the actual belt, they just showed an image of its design on the big screen.

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou press conference, PK, Pressekonferenz Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou kick off press conference held at Here at Outernet Charing Cross Road London uk 7.9.2023 Editorial Use Only, Credit:Dean Fardell Avalon PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxUSA Copyright: xDeanxFardellx xAvalonx 0803631606
Dean Fardell / Avalon / IMAGO

Saudi Arabia will continue to spend big money on fights

As Warren alluded to, Saudi Arabia is planning to continue hosting big money fights in the country, beyond these massive purses they’re giving both Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury for this event.

Apart from likely hosting future boxing events for this new “Riyadh championship,” the Saudi government and its massive sovereign wealth fund also recently jumped into MMA, investing in the PFL, with plans to bankroll a “substantial number” of its PPV events.

As Saudi Arabia and its Public Investment Fund continues to spend billions upon billions for grand events like these, many believe it’s part of their efforts to revamp their image and “sportswash” their terrible human rights record.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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