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Matt Brown advises Francis Ngannou to ‘quit f****** around’ with a warmup fight in boxing and just ‘go for the f****** payday’

UFC Fight Night Ngannou v Dos Santos: Open Workouts Photo by Hannah Foslien/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Francis Ngannou appears serious about pursuing a boxing career, and rather than just chase a massive fight against one of the best in the heavyweight division, he wants to first test himself in a warmup fight for his professional debut.

According to veteran UFC welterweight and noted boxing enthusiast Matt Brown that could be disaster just waiting to happen because for all the weapons that Ngannou possesses in MMA, there’s absolutely no data to prove he’ll be anywhere nearly as successful in another combat sport. That’s why Brown advises Ngannou to forgo the idea about facing some unknown but more experienced heavyweight who could potentially beat him and just seek out a marquee matchup against a name like Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.

“He needs to go for the big payday,” Brown explained on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “It sounds like he wants to be a serious professional boxer maybe, if he’s talking about doing a warmup fight to get into it. I guess that’s a different path but now you’re taking a risk. Maybe you’re not that good. You don’t know.

“You haven’t f****** boxed, bro. You weren’t in the Olympics. You didn’t do an amateur career. You don’t f****** know. When you don’t know, go for the payday. Go for the f****** payday. What are we doing here? Quit f******* around here. Get the payday and be done with it.”

Ngannou has stated repeatedly that he’s always dreamed of crossing over into boxing and that was actually the sport he first wanted to try before testing himself in MMA.

He obviously found great success in the UFC where he reigned as heavyweight champion before leaving the promotion in free agency prior to inking a lucrative new deal with the PFL. As part of his contract with his new MMA home, Ngannou is free to pursue boxing matches and he’s expected to make his debut before 2023 is over.

While he’s teased the possibility of a warmup fight, Ngannou has also continued going back and forth with fighters like Fury on social media, which seemed like the opponent he wanted most even when he was still competing in the UFC.

Brown believes Fury would be the worst possible matchup for Ngannou if he’ s actually trying to find a way to win a boxing match, but he doesn’t totally discount the Cameroon native in another potential fight against a top-ranked heavyweight.

“He probably has a better chance against [Anthony] Joshua than I think people give him credit for,” Brown said. “I think Joshua is 10 times a better boxer, he has the experience [but] he’s a little chinny. He does not like getting hit. That is his flaw that he’s dealt with for a long time.

“He does not like getting hit, and if Francis actually shows him that power, even touches his gloves hard, Joshua might start cowering down a little bit. It probably comes across like I’m putting him down or something. He’s absolutely an amazing fighter, and I have the utmost respect for him, but that’s certainly the knock on him is his chin and his ability to take shots.”

Brown also touted Ngannou taking on another power puncher like Wilder because that would be just like “two nuclear bombs coming together,” but there’s a lot more inherent risk in a fight like that.

Meanwhile, Brown lauds Joshua as a far superior, world-class boxer, but Ngannou’s one-punch knockout power could be the kind of game changer that gives him a chance even as a sizable underdog to the British heavyweight.

“Joshua is the one, in my opinion, that makes the most sense,” Brown said. “If I’m Ngannou and I’m chasing boxing, I go for Joshua. He’s the lowest risk. He’s not a big knockout guy. He’s probably the most chinny of all the guys.

“You know you’re going to sell big in the U.K. and you’re probably going to sell well in the U.S. because it’s Francis Ngannou. So you’ve got a huge, worldwide audience that’s going to pay for that. Joshua is a big name with the lowest risk. That’s the one I go for.”

No matter who he ends up fighting, Brown believes Ngannou has to strike while the iron is hot and there’s legitimate interest in his boxing debut, especially if he’s facing one of the top heavyweights in the sport.

There are just too many unknowns otherwise and Ngannou potentially having a lackluster outing against a no name heavyweight likely ruins any chance he has at landing one of the marquee fights in the division.

“We’ve never seen Francis box,” Brown said. “We know what he can do in MMA but boxing is a very, very different beast so it’s hard to say he’s got a chance against anybody until we see him box and he could surprise us or he could prove us right that he doesn’t have a chance against these guys. I think it’s very, very far up in the air.”

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