Francis Ngannou challenges Deontay Wilder to a boxing match or MMA fight


Deontay Wilder is more than happy to welcome Francis Ngannou to boxing, but he’ll offer to take the same risk in an MMA fight against the former UFC heavyweight champion.

Ngannou is currently looking at his options following his exit from the UFC. He has been teasing a cross-over into boxing which was his long-held dream, even before he took his first fight with MMA. Ngannou mentioned Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Wilder as possible opponents. However, the possibility of striking a deal in boxing or MMA could sweeten the deal.

“I love Francis,” Wilder told Trill Boxing Talk. Wilder said that he met him in Vegas at [UFC] APEX. We talked about the fight during that time, and that I am still interested in it. I would love to go to Africa for that one. That would be a great opportunity to visit Africa.

” I even considered this idea. Let’s make it a two fight deal. Everyone comes to boxing. Let’s try this: you go to my ***, and I will come to yours. You come to my house, I come to yours. A true tea party. That is a great idea. I’m a true warrior.”

Wilder has been widely considered to be the most difficult puncher in boxing, with 42 of his 43 wins ending by knockout. He most recently scored a win over Robert Helenius this past October with one of the most devastating finishes in 2022.

Wilder claims that he spoke with Ngannou after they met at UFC APEX Las Vegas, while Wilder was still training there. Wilder said that he had also spoken to Dana White, UFC president about the possibility of them battling it out in a boxing match. However, this never happened while Ngannou was under contract.

“Me and Dana talked about it and I told him when he brought the idea to me,” Wilder said. “The whole scene is if it makes dollars, it makes sense and that’s all they need to know. He’s doing what he wants and I admire him for that.

“I’m very interested in it. [Francis] would love to have a fight and show some respect, so let’s get it done. It would be a great idea to travel to Africa to do this. It’s going be an epic Marvel battle, with two huge Black heroes. Let’s be kind. I’d love to do it. I think it would be great.”

As far as his interest in crossing over to MMA, Wilder admits it’s not something he’s seriously considered for his career but he also commends fighters like Ngannou who are willing to take the risk in a boxing match so why shouldn’t he be willing to do the same in return?

” That’s something that I had in my mind from the very beginning,” Wilder stated. “I want to do something different. Everyone is able to cross between combat sports. The MMA men always refer back to boxing.

“Of course, they ain’t got no stand up game as far as boxing is concerned so it’s always going to be more favored on the boxer’s side because you’re in our territory.”

Wilder promises that he would do everything possible to win an MMA fight against Ngannou so it wouldn’t just be about the novelty or hype to help build up a rivalry.

He respects MMA as a sport, which is why Wilder says he would seek out a top coach and team to get him ready for that move whenever it would happen.

“I can whoop an ass,” Wilder laughed when asked if he knew how to fight in MMA. “I know how to do that. Although I have never been to mixed martial arts, it is something I would like to learn. I wouldn’t just go in not knowing nothing. If it’s something I want to accomplish, then I will put in the effort.

“He’s coming to train me [in boxing]. What’s the point of me not learning from him? I might like the s***. I might crossover. This is my new place. I’m going to be kicking motherf****** now. Sure, I will get the most talented trainer .”

Ngannou still hasn’t replied to the challenge, but it certainly looks like an option that might give him exactly what he needs now that he’s free to fight anyone he chooses.