Deontay Wilder is the latest high-profile heavyweight boxer seemingly intent on taking advantage of Francis Ngannou’s newfound global appeal. Indeed, Ngannou recently confirmed that his representatives had been in discussions with Wilder’s camp who had raised the possibility of a ‘mixed rules fight’ between the pair.
First things first
Any future fight will of course first depend on how Wilder gets on against Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on the 23rd of December. On this occasion, the odds suggest that the American will breeze through having been priced at 1/6 to beat Parker.
Heavyweight boxing is seldomly this straightforward though and there is hope for supporters of the tenacious New Zealander despite being given longer odds of 4/1 to overcome Wilder. Fight fans in the land of the long white cloud looking to bet on their compatriot to defy the odds against Wilder can check out this list of the best betting sites NZ has to offer, which features bet365, Stake, William Hill, Betway, 888sports, and 10bet.
All of these mentioned bookmakers are offering the latest markets for this box office showdown which is set to take place in the Middle East just 48 hours before Christmas.
𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐃𝐄𝐑 𝐕𝐒 𝐏𝐀𝐑𝐊𝐄𝐑 😮💨
— Queensberry Promotions (@Queensberry) November 15, 2023
In the event Wilder does pass the Parker test, however, then his sights will be set on a dust-up with Ngannou in 2024.
How has this concept come to life?
Wilder’s team were quick to get in touch with Ngannou’s promoters following the performance of the former UFC heavyweight champion against Tyson Fury. Ngannou had exceeded all expectations in the ring despite losing to Fury by way of a contentious split decision and now holds the undivided attention of fight fans around the world as far as his next opponent goes.
In essence, Wilder and his team are desperate for Ngannou to choose him, owing to the revenue any potential bout is likely to generate. The question is, how wise is that on Wilder’s behalf?
Wilder seems to be making the same error as Fury did by rushing into a fight with Ngannou and not taking much heed of the possible consequences. In Wilder’s case, this sense of jeopardy is even more heightened as the American is open to a ‘mixed rules fight’ which will surely give Ngannou the advantage as it will allow the Cameroonian-French heavyweight to use his MMA skills.
Consider for a second that if Ngannou was able to dominate Fury while outside of his comfort zone in the boxing ring, then what might happen if he takes on Wilder while at home in the Octagon?
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 29, 2023
It should be noted that Wilder doesn’t see this as a problem and has previously said that he will take advantage of the fact that he can continue to hit Ngannou while on the ground in their proposed contest; the rules of boxing prohibit fighters from striking an opponent once they are knocked down.
Again, Wilder seems to be taking a Ngannou knockdown for granted and like Fury did, is already imagining his method of victory in his mind’s eye without truly comprehending how formidable an opponent the former UFC heavyweight is.
The stark reality for Wilder is that since his brutal back-to-back losses to Fury in 2020 and 2021, the Alabamian has only fought once. Essentially, Wilder’s inactivity after a few turbulent years in the ring suggests that the last thing he should be doing is looking to square up to Ngannou who in many people’s opinion, beat the greatest heavyweight boxer of this current generation on October 28th, 2023.
Without question, asking for a scrap with Ngannou in his preferred environment might be a decision that Wilder lives to regret – irrespective of the money he will make from it.