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Mike Tyson to help Francis Ngannou train for Tyson Fury bout

The MMA champion went right to the top of the food chain to get advice for his first boxing bout.

Mike Tyson looks on during the weigh-in for Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on July 28, 2023. Spence Jr. and Crawford will fight for the undisputed world welterweight championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 29. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou won’t be able to say he wasn’t properly prepared for his first boxing match against world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on October 28 in Saudi Arabia. And that’s because he’ll have perhaps the most dominant heavyweight champion of all time in his corner in Mike Tyson.

On Friday the parties announced that Iron Mike will be in the corner for Ngannou, and will be a part of his training camp as well.

“It’s no secret I back Ngannou 100 percent in this face-off of champions,” Tyson said in a prepared statement. “He has one hard punch, and when it lands, it’s game over. I am looking forward to working with Ngannou and supporting his transition from the Octagon to the boxing ring.

“He isn’t a combat novice; he is a world champion. He knows how to compete when the bell rings, but the key will be combining his energy and combat skills into his punches and using his agility to move swiftly around the ring then delivering the knockout blow. We’re here to win.”

Ngannou making his debut against the undefeated and reigning WBC heavyweight champion in Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) is the equivalent of leaving a high school baseball field for the major leagues. He’ll be facing one of the most powerful punchers in the history of pugilism, and one with a chin that can take quite the punch as well.

But the purse will make it worth his time: Ngannou earned all of $3.5 million in his seven-fight UFC career, but looks to cash in for at least $18 million for this one appearance in Riyadh. There is no word on what compensation Tyson might be receiving.