How Cristiano Ronaldo helped broker Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou’s historic crossover fight

CRISTIANO RONALDO played an unlikely role in Francis Ngannou’s shock showdown with Tyson Fury coming to fruition.

The former UFC heavyweight champion finalised a controversial crossover clash with the Gypsy King last week – six months after leaving mixed martial arts’ top promotion.

ESPNFrancis Ngannou will box Tyson Fury in a crossover clash on October 28[/caption]

The former UFC heavyweight champion’s boxing debut will take place in Saudi ArabiaGETTY

INSTAGRAM@CRISTIANOFootie icon Cristiano Ronaldo convinced Ngannou that Saudi ‘is the future’ of sports[/caption]

Ngannou’s professional boxing debut will take place in Saudi Arabia and will earn him the biggest purse of his combat sports career.

The Cameroonian clubber is no stranger to Saudi having visited in January and meeting footie star Ronaldo, who convinced him The Kingdom “is the future” of sports.

Recalling their meeting during an appearance on The MMA Hour, The Predator said: “Yes, that’s where it started in that moment.”

In a separate interview with TMZ, he said: “We had a good talk. He told me that Saudi [Arabia] is the future.

“A lot of people doesn’t understand now but they are changing really fast, it’s moving really fast.

“And that’s even what I personally, that was my feeling when I get there.

“It was my first time going to Saudi and I was literally like, I didn’t really know how to carry myself, how to behave myself.

“But I get there and find out that everything is cool.


“It was just like normal life. It’s pretty cool, man.”

Ngannou, 36, had a great interaction with Ronaldo – who shocked him with his knowledge of mixed martial arts.

He said: “I’ve been following Cristiano for the past, maybe 17 years.

“And then, you know, to get to meet him in person and find out that he is a huge fan of the sport.

“That he knows a lot about the sport. He loves the sport. He’s watched us fight.

“He knows a lot about me than what I was expecting. Very impressive.

“You know, to get someone like Cristiano Ronaldo knowing the game, know you or what you are doing, is pretty cool. He’s pretty big.

“He’s pretty huge. Listen, it’s like a huge support from him.”

Fury, 34, is the overwhelming favourite to win the ten-rounder against the boxing Ngannou – who left the UFC as their lineal heavyweight champion.

But he’s made sure he’ll get a second crack at the heavy hitter should the unthinkable happen.

Ngannou revealed: “There is a potential rematch clause.

“I don’t know exactly how to explain that language, but yes, there is a rematch inside it.”

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