One of the most intriguing subplots of Francis Ngannou’s upcoming fight against Tyson Fury is that the Cameroonian-French fighter has enlisted the help of all-time great Mike Tyson. The 57-year-old will act as Ngannou’s trainer in the lead-up to the bout on October 28th. It is a surprising development and the question is, can Tyson guide Ngannou to a sensational victory?
The odds are against Francis Ngannou and Mike Tyson
As it stands. Mike Tyson’s presence in the former UFC heavyweight champion’s training camp hasn’t been enough to change the current Fury vs. Ngannou odds. The price for the Englishman as the overwhelming favorite.
Indeed, any fight fan looking at the latest boxing odds will see Fury at a remarkably low price of -1200 to win while Ngannou remains at +700. The reality is that these odds aren’t in the slightest bit ambiguous with Fury heavily tipped to win comfortably in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, you could argue that Francis Ngannou’s decision to bring Tyson in quietly acknowledges the obvious gulf in class between the pair and that he is determined to make it more of an even playing field. It’s a bold strategy but how does Iron Mike go about bridging the gap between Ngannou and Fury?
Francis has the power but not the experience
During Ngannou’s career in the Octagon, the 37-year-old developed a fierce reputation for his knockout ability. Tellingly, Francis Ngannou will arrive in Saudi Arabia having won by way of knockout in 71% of all the fights in his UFC career. What this stat illustrates is that the Cameroonian-French fighter has the power to cause Fury problems but not necessarily the boxing experience when it comes to exploiting it. In other words, finding a way through Fury’s typically impenetrable defence is what Tyson has been brought in to do.
Admittedly, it is a herculean task as Fury is renowned for his skilled footwork and freakishly quick head movement for a man who stands over two meters tall. Aside from Deontay Wilder, most of Fury’s previous opponents have failed to land a punch of any significance on him which is why he comes into this exhibition bout in the Middle East boasting an unbeaten career record.
To that end, Tyson has his work cut out for him as he tries to devise a game plan that will ensure Ngannou beats who many consider to be the greatest boxer in the history of the sport.
What will Ngannou’s most likely plan of action be on the night?
The fight between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury is scheduled for ten rounds but the overriding feeling in the world of boxing is that it won’t go the distance. Ngannou’s odds of +5000 to win on points or by way of decision at the end of ten rounds strongly suggest that the former UFC champion will battle to match Fury’s technical ability and stamina.
Tyson will be all too aware of this and will likely be focusing his efforts on making sure Ngannou tests Fury’s body in the opening rounds with powerful shots that cause the current WBC champion to drop his guard. Should that happen then the 37-year-old may be presented with a chance to use his devastating power as he looks to knock Fury out.
It is a strategy that could work but as Tyson famously said during his own professional career, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”