Francis Ngannou‘s dreams of becoming a boxer might be over before they began.
Francis Ngannou is just one of the UFC fighters who are looking to make some extra money by trying their hand at boxing. The road paved by Jake Paul has given former UFC fighters a chance to make a huge paycheck in a “celebrity” style boxing match. Ngannou has been toying with this idea himself and has been asking for a shot at Tyson Fury.
One man who is not so sure of Ngannou’s chances against “The Gypsy King” is his former coach Fernand Lopez.
“I think the fight makes sense for Francis because he thinks he can cash out. There’s also something there for Tyson Fury, he doesn’t care that it’s not a competitive fight, he just wants to make money and make some news,” Lopez told The Mac Life. “It would take at least three years for Francis Ngannou to be competitive from a boxing standpoint with Tyson Fury, and I mean three years only dedicated to boxing. Realistically, he would have to stop everything else and probably do nothing else for three years, only boxing. No grappling, nothing else. The way that his body and muscles are built, it will not allow him to keep throwing punches after the third round.”
Ngannou is known for his power in the UFC heavyweight division. Who can forget when he sent Alistair Overeem into the shadow realm at UFC 218, but can his power translate over to the squared circle? Lopez thinks not.
“I’m not sure Francis can ever challenge the stamina or endurance of Tyson Fury,” Lopez said. “All he can do is have a high defense; be elusive, close footwork, change direction. But eventually, Tyson will wear him down, get him tired, work the body and then go up with the uppercut, and sooner or later Francis will give up because of the volume, because of the pressure shots and he will just go down.
“I don’t see how he can win the match. This is an opportunity for him to cash out. I’m not sure if you’re a UFC fighter it’s worth letting it all go and have three years boxing training–how would you live your life, what would be your income? And after three years, you may be competitive enough to stand there and keep throwing punches.”
Lopez was Ngannou’s first MMA coach in France. He led him to the UFC and saw him rise up the ranks. However, the two have since had a falling out and Lopez is now the head coach of Ngannou’s upcoming opponent Ciryl Gane. Having trained Ngannou for years, Lopez thinks he knows what to expect in the main event of UFC 270. He and Gane are preparing for Ngannou and all of his strengths and weaknesses.
“We are not expecting anything brilliant, Francis is not a boxer,” Lopez said. “You train a lot to be a boxer. Boxing needs dedication, boxing needs sacrifice, you need years and years to train. So we know the outcome of that fight. The question is how much Francis Ngannou can cash out, because he only has one shot. Because objectively speaking, he cannot think about having a boxing career because his boxing skill will not be enough for him to become a boxer.”
Do you think Francis Ngannou would have what it takes to succeed at boxing?