Mike Tyson: Ngannou, Fury will be tougher than people think.
Boxing icon Mike Tyson has admitted Francis Ngannou was not training hard enough for his fight with Tyson Fury.
Ngannou will take on Fury in Saudi Arabia on October 28 and has appointed heavyweight legend Tyson as his trainer. Ngannou, the former UFC champion, will be making his boxing debut - but cannot win Fury's world title. The Brit will start as the overwhelming favourite to beat his rival.
But Tyson believes he has already made improvements to his charge's game, telling First Take: "He’s had many professional fights, but he’s never experienced a professional boxing match. But by working with him, he has the aptitude, and I see a good future in this life. It’s not going to be as one-sided as people think it is.
"I was speaking with Francis once he came in and I asked him ‘Are you sore today?’, and he said ‘No’. That was a big mistake. But, we’re going to work and we’re going to exert everything he has for this particular match. I definitely believe that it’s going to be a tougher fight than anyone thinks."
Tyson was appointed to Ngannou's team last week and said: "I am looking forward to working with Ngannou and supporting his transition from the octagon to the boxing ring. He isn’t a combat novice, he is a world champion. The key will be combining his energy and combat skills into his punches and using his agility to move swiftly around the ring then delivering the knock-out blow. We’re here to win."
Ngannou, who last fought when he successfully defended his UFC title against Ciryl Gane last year, told Sky Sports: "I think just talking about my power is going to be a huge mistake. We are going to shock the world and show the skillset, showcase the work we have been doing behind the scenes. I am not taking this lightly, it's very important and I know that it's going to be very challenging for me.
"I am taking every single thing seriously, this for me is the biggest fight of my career. As every fight should be, this one is the most important. I respect him as I respect every single one of my opponents, which I should. Being intimidated by him? No, I am not intimidated by him and I am not intimidated by anybody.