LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou is determined to prove that he's more than just an MMA fighter trying his hand at boxing.
Ngannou is set to make his professional boxing debut in a 10-round bout against Tyson Fury on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While the former UFC heavyweight champion is renowned for his one-punch knockout power, which has taken out fighters like Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, and Cain Velasquez, he believes he has more to offer than just a big punch.
"In fact, that's what I'm going to prove," Ngannou stated during Tuesday's open workout media scrum in Las Vegas. "That's why I'm doing this. I think, okay, the one-shot guy, you can get away with the one shot for some time, but not always. I have heard that same story before. Looks like deja vu."
Ngannou's journey in combat sports began in boxing before he decided to transition to MMA. He views this boxing match against Tyson Fury as a return to his roots.
"I know there is a difference," Ngannou acknowledged. "I never thought it was the same thing. There are some similarities, basically, as a combat sport, but they are very different in focus, training, stance, and everything. Just a little reminder: I started doing boxing even before MMA, and when I came to MMA, I had to adjust my boxing style to fit in MMA. Otherwise, it wouldn't work."
For Ngannou, this fight against WBC heavyweight champ Fury isn't about MMA vs. boxing.
"I see it more like two boxers," Ngannou explained. "For this fight, I'm not training with an MMA mentality like I'm an MMA guy. I'm going out there to box. I'm training as a boxer. I'm not seeing myself as an MMA guy, so I hope you guys also see me as a boxer."