Mike Tyson to help Francis Ngannou train for Tyson Fury bout

Why Nate Diaz is happy for Francis Ngannou getting a fight with Tyson Fury (2:26)

Nate Diaz discusses MMA fighters getting into the boxing world like Francis Ngannou scheduling a fight with Tyson Fury. (2:26)

Former UFC champion Francis Ngannou will have Mike Tyson, one of the greatest and most feared heavyweight boxers of all time, in his corner when he faces Tyson Fury in the ring Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia.

Ngannou and Tyson made the announcement in conjunction with Saudi Arabian event coordinators Thursday. Ngannou, 36, parted ways with the UFC as a free agent in early 2023 and has since signed on to make his professional boxing debut against Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has also signed an MMA deal that will see him compete in PFL in 2024.

"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 was born in Cameroon and immigrated to France with a dream of boxing professionally. He was eventually introduced to MMA, in part for more financial opportunities, and enjoyed a quick rise to the top of the sport. He signed with the UFC in 2015 after just six professional bouts and won the heavyweight championship in 2021 by knocking out Stipe Miocic. Despite his MMA success, he always maintained a desire to step into the boxing ring.

He will be a massive underdog against Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), who is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Ngannou intends to train for the fight in Las Vegas, where he now resides.

"Bringing Mike Tyson into my training camp is one of the best decisions I can make to prepare for Tyson Fury in the ring at this year's Riyadh Season," Ngannou said. "Mike Tyson is an idol of mine in the sport. His experience and boxing IQ will be important to honing my technique under his guidance to win this super fight. I've been wanting this fight for years and now that it's here, I'm focused on fighting the greatest fight of my career and shocking the world on the most epic stage for the fans in Riyadh. October 28th, the world will know who's the 'Baddest Man on the Planet.'"

Fury has apparently also sought out help from his opponent's true sport. UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall recently revealed Fury offered him an invite to join his camp. Fury and Aspinall have actually trained with each other previously, as well.