Marquel Martin, the manager of former UFC heavyweight champion and new PFL signee, Francis Ngannou, provided an update on the status of his client's potential boxing debut this year.
Martin spoke with journalist Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of his show The MMA Hour on Wednesday and explained that he sees Ngannou competing in the squared circle in 2023 while revealing their intentions to bring a boxing fight to the heavyweight star's home nation of Africa.
“Obviously, that’s something that Francis has always wanted to do,” Martin said. “The UFC knows that right, and that’s what I always wanted to push for. That is going to happen. Who it’s going to be against, we don’t know. We’ve had a lot of positive conversations. As you know, boxing is even crazier than the MMA space. So things just take time. Obviously, we’re in the social media age where no one wants to be patient for anything. But, I’ll say without giving away too much. Things are positive. They’re going in the right direction. I think people will be shocked by what comes of it. At the end of the day, I think people need to realize that he's doing this not only for himself but for Africa. And what we're gonna do in the boxing space, is try to bring a fight there. Whether it's his next fight or whatever, we're gonna do it. Anyone else can go into Africa and put on a fight. Like that's cool, but it's different when it's Francis."
He continued to discuss the possible opponents Ngannou could face in a boxing bout, and the possibility of him facing either Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, or Tyson Fury.
"We go back and forth on that all the time," Martin said. "We'd love if one of the big fights presents themselves. But it seems like they're kind of tied up. Francis isn't a traditional boxer, so like every fight is a big fight. But I know Francis wants to challenge himself. Obviously, you see Deontay (Wilder) out there, Anthony Joshua out there, Tyson Fury out there. We'd love that matchup. That's something that has a narrative and a story behind it, that's bigger than just the fight game."
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