Tyson Fury bout against Francis Ngannou is ‘a load of RUBBISH’, claims Frazer Clarke… as the heavyweight suggests former boxers would be ‘rolling in their graves’ at the state of the sport
- Fury will take on Ngannou in what will be the latter’s first professional bout
- Much more money is involved in crossover boxing compared to genuine fights
- LISTEN: Exclusive Tyson Fury interview on THE HOOK – our new boxing podcast
Frazer Clarke has branded crossover boxing ‘a loaf of rubbish’ ahead of Tyson Fury’s bout with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening.
The two heavyweights will face off in ‘the Battle of the Baddest’ in Riyadh, with several fans expecting it to be an easy fight for Fury, who remains undefeated from 34 professional fights.
Ngannou, meanwhile, though boasts an impressive UFC record of 17 wins and three losses, is yet to have a fully sanctioned professional fight, though Saturday’s bout with Fury will be his first.
The fight follows events including the likes of Tommy Fury versus KSI and Logan Paul versus Dillon Danis, with Tommy saying after his win that he was ‘done’ with crossover boxing.
The money involved is significant compared to regular boxing fights, however, which could cause an increase in the amount of crossover matches in the future. While Clarke, speaking to Mail Sport, acknowledged that there is a place for a ‘one-off’, he was critical of more bouts going forward.
Frazer Clarke has branded crossover boxing ‘a load of rubbish’ ahead of Tyson Fury versus Francis Ngannou
Fury (left) and Ngannou (right) will face off in the latter’s first sanctioned professional bout
‘What started off a few months ago as a bit of a joke of a boxing show and fight has become the biggest boxing night and fight in recent years,’ he said. ‘You just have to have to look at who is here. It’s something to be excited about so I am looking forward to tonight.
‘As a one off I think it’s [fine]. But I think it’s going to be the start of things to come now. When you see what this is generating, the place we are in and the money that is flying about, there is going to be a lot of world champions that want crossover fights because financially it blows anything else out of the water. Plus, it’s an easy night for them if I am honest.
‘I think it’s the start of things to come. Do I agree with that? This one has been saved because of the undercard. If it was a bad undercard, then the media would be very different towards this fight.
‘I can’t knock them. I can’t knock people who are out here making this amount of money, but at the same time, with my old school head, the inner old man is saying to me this is a load of rubbish.’
The fight is dubbed ‘the battle of the baddest’ but has left fans split in their views on the match
Tommy Fury (left) beat KSI (right) in another crossover boxing event earlier on this month
The 32-year-old did admit that he is interested in what happens in the bout, which will see two of the most successful heavyweights in combat sports go head-to-head.
Much has been made of Ngannou’s power and his potential knockout ability, but the general consensus is that Fury will have too much for him and get the job done.
‘Has the build-up been good? Yes. Am I intrigued? Yes,’ Clarke added. ‘Am I fan of Fury? Absolutely. Am I fan of Ngannou? Absolutely. Is there a question in my head saying could he land that big shot? Of course there is.
‘Like everyone else in the world, everyone is going to watch. It’s definitely the start of something and we will see how it goes. Tonight is a bench mark.’
Clarke said that fighters will have to ‘get over’ what is happening to boxing moving forward
When asked whether it becomes a problem when big money fights stall the fights the fans want, as was seen for months with Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk Clarke said: ‘The brutal honesty of it is, the people at the top don’t give a s*** about the fans. I know people don’t want to hear that and boxers don’t want to hear that, promoters probably don’t want to hear that, but if it’s lining their pockets they’re going to do it.
‘Now ask me would I do the same? Yes absolutely. It’s an unforgiving sport. It’s a hard sport. You have to rinse the life out of it while you can to ensure you live a better life and provide for your family. It’s hard for me to say that because it’s not how I grew up. But, times have changed and the world of boxing and sport has changed.
‘You have two choices. You can either be the guy that sits there and cries about how it used to be or you can move with the times, further yourself and get paid. It’s a tough one. If you can’t beat, them join then. I often say though, some of the champions of old would be rolling in their graves if they saw how boxing is now. But, the present champions are all getting paid. Just look at the champions who are here, wanting to get involved and getting paid to get involved.
‘Everyone is here for a few quid I can tell you that. No one is here because it’s Saudi and because they wanted to visit Saudi. It’s developing into one of those places that if you’re involved in sport, boxing and football as we’ve seen, and you really want to propel your life, you come and get involved. That’s why everyone’s here.’
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