Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, the WBC heavyweight boxing world champion, and Francis Ngannou, the MMA heavyweight world champion, are set to fight this Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
This exciting fight launches Riyadh Season, a premier entertainment festival spanning the colder months in the sprawling city of Riyadh.
The event’s promotion is under the banners of Queensberry, Top Rank, and GIMIK Fight Promotions. Fans in the U.S. can catch the live stream of the Fury-Ngannou fight on Top Rank via ESPN+ PPV starting 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The cost? A cool $79.99, but it’s also up for grabs through various cable and satellite PPV providers.
The pay-per-view also boasts an all-heavyweight roster. There’s a 12-round fight featuring the undefeated British talents Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) squaring off against David Adeleye (12-0, 11 KOs). And don’t miss the 10-round fight with former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs) taking on Canada’s Simon Kean (23-1, 22 KOs), a real punch-packer.
From Montreal, Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs), known to demolish his opponents, is set to face Junior Anthony Wright (20-4-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round fight. And as an appetizer, Moses Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) starts the PPV event with a six-round fight against Istvan Bernath (10-1, 8 KOs).
To add a bit of spice, Thursday’s press conference was quite the spectacle, especially with the lively intervention of John Fury, Tyson’s dad. Here’s what the fighters had to share (and no, there were no flying chairs this time!):
“It’s incredible being here in Saudi Arabia. Headlining the event makes it even more unique. We have so much to appreciate. The journey to get here wasn’t long, yet witnessing everything unfold is truly extraordinary.”
“Francis Ngannou certainly stands out. I noticed he’s adopted my style a bit with the outfit he’s chosen. The way he’s dressed, especially the suit without a shirt – I initiated that trend! He’s emulating, and while many might mimic, they can’t truly match the original. Remember, there’s only one Gypsy King.”
“Preparing for an opponent like him? Challenging. Yet, in the States, we have a saying, ‘I’m going to knock someone out cold!’ And that’s the plan. My collaboration with SugarHill Steward has been focused on ensuring that outcome. I am confident I’ll achieve it.”
“He’s powerful and possesses a solid punch, as do I. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t hold the world heavyweight champion title. I firmly believe in the different tiers of skill in this sport. He’ll discover where I stand this Saturday.”
“Being here is the realization of a dream. Four years ago, when I met Mike Tyson, all I wished for was his support if I ever fought Tyson Fury. Many doubted and believed it was a far-fetched idea. Yet, here it is, the fight is on. This moment encapsulates my dream. The path wasn’t straightforward, but the destination is worth it.”
“I’d like to express gratitude to Tyson Fury for accepting this fight, understanding the stakes. There’s a possibility he might not stay awake the whole fight. I recognize his bravery and thank him.”
“This training camp felt different. The challenge was distinct. Knowing the scale of the task ahead, we commenced our preparations early. Having Mike Tyson and my coach Dewey Cooper’s presence made a significant difference in my strategy for this fight.”
“When Mike Tyson joined, one statement of his resonated with me. He mentioned, ‘Remember, he’s just like you with two hands and two feet.’ That insight was powerful. Tyson Fury might be the best in boxing, but that reign may end this Saturday.”
“To be frank, this training camp has been among the hardest. We’re unsure of the outcome since he’s transitioning from UFC. He’s been in fights all his life, making it feel like an unpredictable amateur tournament. Preparing for such an unpredictable fight is a challenge. Our focus has been on honing our skills and getting ready for any scenario.”
“I’m eagerly waiting for this fight to open up. Initially, I doubted it would take place. But then I witnessed his sparring session. I was skeptical until I saw him land a punch that injured another fighter severely. Believe me, if he can achieve that, there’s a chance he could become the world’s heavyweight champion. His strength is undoubtedly genuine.”