The so-called ‘Battle of the Baddest’ commences in the Saudi Arabian desert on Saturday evening as WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury meets MMA star Francis Ngannou over ten rounds.
A potential undisputed showdown with Oleksandr Usyk lies in wait for Fury providing he emerges unscathed against boxing debutant Ngannou this weekend.
The latter ruled as heavyweight champion in the UFC in recent years but is yet to fight inside the squared circle as a professional.
Dubbed the ‘Battle of the Baddest’, the fight offers little threat for WBC king Fury who will surely reap the reward of millions in the bank against a significantly inferior opponent in the Middle East.
Ngannou meanwhile will also enjoy his own fair spoils and is expected to earn an eight-figure payday for the first time in his combat sports career.
The 37-year-old opted to leave the UFC earlier this year, saying the decision was down to ‘freedom rather than money’ and has since signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) in the MMA world where he is expected to return after his bout with Fury this weekend.
Wardley and Adeleye clash for British title
The real reward for boxing fans lies further down the card when British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley collides with the fellow undefeated David Adeleye in the chief support.
Both men met at a fiery announcement press conference last month which saw the champion Wardley suffer a minor cut after a physical altercation with a member of Adeleye’s team.
The fight wasn’t jeopardised however and the pair are now set to meet in one of many intriguing match-ups on the domestic heavyweight scene.
“I don’t think he’s my hardest opponent to date. I don’t thin he’s the most technical I’ve been with, I don’t think he has the most power. That’s how I feel,” said Wardley at the fight week press conference.
Adeleye meanwhile remains confident in securing his first major title this weekend.
“He can only fight one way and that’s walking forward. He’s got no boxing IQ. He’s not intelligent enough to see that I’m setting traps,” said the 26-year-old.
Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is also set to feature as he faces Canada’s Simon Kean over ten rounds, while France’s Carlos Takam and the Congo’s Martin Bakole collide in an intriguing match-up over the same distance.
Russian Arslanbek Makhmudov also takes on Illinois’ Junior Anthony Wright while Liverpool super-welterweight Jack McGann faces son of boxing legend Roberto Duran, Alcibiade Duran.
British heavyweight prospect Moses Itauma is set for his sixth professional appearance versus Hungary’s Istvan Bernath over eight.