Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou clash in a 10-round boxing match on Saturday night, but the pre-fight press conference ended up putting Fury’s father and a legendary heavyweight center stage.
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, the elder Fury was once again the loudest person in the room, touting his son as the best heavyweight in boxing amid conflicted feelings with Mike Tyson just a few feet away. It’s well-documented that John Fury named his son after the legendary heavyweight knockout artist, who now serves as one of Ngannou’s coaches.
While he still paid homage to an idol, John Fury also challenged Tyson to a fight if his son came up short against Ngannou.
“Mike Tyson, the man I named my son after,” Fury shouted on stage. “But you know what? Give me a special mention. The man who bred him. John Fury. Fears no man. Fears no man on Earth. No matter what they’ve done, no matter what accolades, John Fury only fears one person, and he’s not even of this world — that’s God almighty!
“Here I am! Any man alive want to fight John Fury! I’m ready to go! Mike Tyson, what have you got to say to that? The world is going is going to see what’s going to happen to your man. Your man will get his head boxed off and stopped. Don’t you worry about that. If I’m wrong, me and you will fight straight after! Whatever the outcome, me and you will fight!”
Tyson had a laugh at the comments while continuously shouting that Ngannou would be the future heavyweight champion of the world – though Tyson Fury’s WBC title isn’t up for grabs. The winner of the fight will instead be gifted a special title, dubbed the “Riyadh Season” belt, that was commissioned ahead of the event in Saudi Arabia.
As for a potential fight with the elder Fury, Tyson has apparently heard about that before.
“He’s been chasing me for 40 years,” Tyson said about Fury’s challenge.
Ngannou weighed in with his own suggestion of a two-on-two.
“I’ll take of your son, and Mike Tyson will take care of you,” Ngannou said. “How about that? Mike Tyson will handle you.”
It all seemed like good fun on stage, but then again, when John Fury gets involved, it’s anybody’s guess what might actually unfold. He continued his antics throughout the press conference, jabbing at Tyson for actually believing Ngannou has a realistic shot at beating his son.
“Don’t embarrass yourself, Mike,” Fury shouted. “Honestly. He can’t beat my son. Just be a man and say we’ve come here to try our hardest, but we’re messing with the best in the world.”
When the fighters eventually faced off on stage, John Fury ripped off his shirt to join them, but not before laying down a final challenge to Tyson.
“I’m not saying I can beat this great man,” Fury said about Tyson. “I’m not saying I’ll beat you, Mike, but I’ll fight you and do the best I can. That’s who my mother bred. A fighting man!”