Francis Ngannou has claimed there is at least a seventy per cent chance he will fight Tyson Fury in 2023 as he continues his recovery following an operation to repair a torn MCL and damaged ACL in his knee.
Ngannou, 35, was in London to watch Fury, 33, in action against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium.
The Gypsy King was victorious, cementing his place among the heavyweight greats of boxing, after he brutally knocked out the Body Snatcher with a vicious uppercut in their domestic dust-up.
And after the fight, Ngannou joined Fury in the ring and they talked up their interest in a ‘hybrid’ clash with MMA gloves.
The Predator also spoke of their mutual admiration for each other during his appearance on a recent episode of ‘The MMA Hour‘ podcast.
He said: “We both want this fight, that’s clear, and we respect each other.
“Probably next year it will happen.
“I think it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of our promotions, but we will sort this out at some point.”
However Ngannou believes there would have to be certain rules put in place all in the spirit of fairness.
He added: “Make it a hybrid fight, something that makes it a little uncomfortable for him as a boxer.
“Ideas like MMA gloves or fighting barefoot. I don’t know, we still have to figure this out.
“I would say there’s a 70% chance my next opponent is Tyson Fury. On his side, I would say 90% against me.”
Of course, that will all entirely depend on whether a deal can be struck between the two sides, as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and UFC president Dana White famously don’t see eye to eye anymore these days.
But the Hall of Fame promoter insists that won’t be a problem as both fighters ‘are with ESPN’.
He recently said: “No, he definitely won’t retire. Of course not. Are you crazy?
“I don’t know what (Ngannou’s) contract situation with the UFC is.
“Obviously, it’d be a massive fight, and it should be easy to make since both Tyson and [Ngannou] are with ESPN.”