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Tyson Fury set to return against Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia in October

Tyson Fury. Photo credit: Getty Images

Undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-0 have agreed to a deal to face each other in a boxing match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28.

Rumours were swirling last week that the bout would be an exhibition with no knockdowns allowed.

Perhaps to stem the negative publicity, the bout will now take place under the official rules of professional boxing in a regulation boxing ring with three judges ringside adopting the 10-point must system.

The 36-year-old Ngannou, who was born in Cameroon but now resides in France, will be making his boxing debut after walking away from the UFC after his contract expired last December.

The WBC belt will not be on the line as Ngannou is, understandably, unranked by the Mexican sanctioning body.

The last time a crossover bout like this took place, Floyd Mayweather Jr toweled up Conor McGregor in Las Vegas six years ago, stopping him in 10.

Both Fury and Ngannou have promised to bring the heat and win by knockout.

“As soon as that bell goes, it’ll be bombs away!” Fury said. “This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK.

“I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights. I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft.

“Francis looked tough when he jumped in the ring after the [Dillian] Whyte fight, but there is no one tougher than me, and you’ll all see that in devastating fashion on October 28… it’s going to be a fight for the ages. Get up!”

Ngannou said: “I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years.

“My dream was always to box and to box the best. After becoming the undisputed MMA heavyweight champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet…

“All I will say to Tyson for now is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”

Ngannou, who grew up in poverty in Cameroon, began his combat sports journey at 22 when he took up boxing in his birth country before moving to France at age 26 to pursue a boxing career.

It was there that he took up mixed martial arts and found he excelled at the sport.

“When I started, I had nothing. Nothing. I needed everything,” Ngannou told Yahoo Sports. “But when you start [to earn money], you starting collecting things: I want this, I want this, I want that. The purpose is not collecting things, though. The purpose is to do something great. Finish the dream you started.”

The Fury vs Ngannou bout will be promoted by Queensberry Promotions, Top Rank and Ngannou’s promotional banner, GIMIK Fight Promotions, in partnership with Riyadh Season.