Francis Ngannou’s manager believes fans will be shocked by former UFC champion’s first boxing match

By Josh Evanoff - May 24, 2023

Francis Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, believes fans will be shocked by his boxing debut.

‘The Predator’ made headlines earlier this month by ending his high-profile free agency. In January, Ngannou walked out of the UFC, becoming the first reigning champion since BJ Penn in 2004 to do so. At the time, the heavyweight stated that issues with pay, restrictive contracts, an inability to box, and more, triggered his move.

Earlier this month, the former champion signed with the PFL. Furthermore, Ngannou got most of what he wanted out of the deal. The heavyweight will lead PFL Africa, a fighter advocacy board, and most importantly, retained his right to box. For years, Ngannou has stated that his goal is to one day step into the boxing ring.


However, while his PFL signing is now complete, Francis Ngannou’s boxing career is uncertain. The former UFC champion has been linked to several high-profile names, including Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. However, neither bout has come to fruition as of now.

For his part, Marquel Martin discussed the heavyweight’s boxing debut on The MMA Hour. There, the manager stated that he doesn’t have much that he can reveal, at the moment. However, Martin stated that talks are going well, and fans will be shocked by Ngannou’s boxing announcement.

Francis Ngannou

“Obviously, that’s something that Francis has always wanted to do,” Marquel Martin stated on The MMA Hour. “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, boxing is even crazier than the MMA space. So things take time. Obviously, we’re in the social media age where nobody wants to be patient for anything.”

He continued, “But, I’ll say without giving away too much. Things are positive, and they’re going in the right direction. I think people will be shocked by what comes of it… Yes, [I think he boxes this year].”

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Francis Ngannou