By Craig Daly: Trainer Malik Scott says he thinks Deontay Wilder is a bigger puncher than Francis Ngannou. He states that Wilder’s punches get there much faster due to his superior hand speed.
(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
We really don’t know how hard Ngannou punches because many of the MMA fighters look powerful due to the small gloves they wear, but when they get in the boxing ring, they can’t punch. That might be the case with Ngannou.
Ngannou has hand speed similar to George Foreman when he came back in his early 40s. The lack of hand speed takes away from the power that Ngannou might otherwise have. When Foreman was younger, he was clearly faster than what Ngannou had shown in his training for this fight.
During Ngannou’s mitt workouts, the impact of his punches wasn’t loud & powerful compared to Wilder’s and many other boxers.
Malik feels that it’s going to be difficult for the 37-year-old Ngannou to land his shots on the elusive 6’9″ Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) because he’s good at moving around just enough to prevent his opponents from getting in position to connect with their best shots.
Scott says he heard that knockdowns aren’t allowed in the Fury-Ngannou, and he’s not sure if this is going to be just a sparring event. Many boxing fans believe that Fury will carry Ngannou for the first five or six rounds before getting serious with him and knocking him out at the midpoint in the fight.
Wilder punches harder than Ngannou
“I’m very happy for Ngannou. I love the stand that he’s made, and I think he’s out of his league fighting Tyson Fury,” said Malik Scott to Fight Hub TV. “I don’t take it that seriously.
This is a business type of fight for the 35-year-old Fury against Ngannou (0-0), and it’s lucky for him that the Saudis are willing to pay for this kind of entertainment because it would be a tough sell if they staged it elsewhere.
No promoter is going to shower Fury & Ngannou with money for a fight that doesn’t promise to bring in huge PPV buys, especially given the massive $79.99 price point. That price has scared away many of the fans who were interested in watching it on ESPN+ PPV in the U.S.
When trying to sell an old beat-up rug, you don’t put a huge price tag on it; set it in the front yard and hope that buyers will haul it away. That’s the case with the Fury-Ngannou fight, as these are a couple of old guys that are near the end of their careers in their separate sports.
“Ngannou’s punches get there a little bit late. I think Deontay Wilder is the hardest puncher in the history of the sport because he gets there quickly,” said Malik. “It’s almost like when I used to box [spar] Wladimir Klitschko. It was a game of inches. The kind of power that Wladimir can get from right here, like six inches.
“Kind of something like that [Bruce Lee]. Lennox Lewis had the kind of thudding power that could wake you up later that night in your dreams. Deontay Wilder is a mixture of both. He’s faster than Lennox and Wladimir. If speed is power. With his power, mathematically, he punches harder than both of them,” said Scott.
When you have someone as slow as Ngannou, you can brace to receive the punches when you see them coming, and that takes away a lot of the power. If Ngannou had had speed, he probably would have chosen boxing instead of opting for a lower-paying career in MMA. Obviously, the reason he’s turned to boxing at this late stage of his career is because the money is a lot better.
“Me being in the ring with all three, including Vitali Klitschko, I just say Deontay Wilder is the hardest puncher in the history of the sport, especially if we’re talking about those guys, and those guys are very dangerous punchers that can really kill you with power,” said Malik.
Fury won’t be easy to hit
“Deontay’s power is scary. I’ve seen him make grown men have seizures with 20 ounces on,” said Scott. “I don’t even think Ngannou will be able to get into a good position to punch Fury. Fury knows how to mess up your position to where you’re not in a good position to punch him.
“Forget just going in there to punch him. That’s not my language. My language is positioning. My language is hand position, my language is defense, and my language is how are you going to get there to deliver the shots?
“I guarantee you that Ngannou hasn’t been working on positioning to get to Fury. It’s tough for me to even talk about the fight because I don’t know if they are serious or if it’s an exhibition. I heard at one point there are no knockdowns.
“If I didn’t know none of that and I was just looking at it like a fight, I don’t think Ngannou is even going to be allowed to punch. Fury can stop you from punching. I’m talking from a scientific standpoint. I’ve watched him shut the offense down of dangerous fighters.
“Ngannou is dangerous only because he has heavy hands. Nothing else comes with that system. It’s size and power, but we’ll see.
“We’ll see. That’s the business aspect that I hate,” said Malik when asked which network Deontay will be fighting on now that Showtime will exit boxing at the end of 2023. “I’m not really good at talking about it because I don’t know much about it.
“All I know is that I want fighters that I train to get all the money, to get all the shine, to get all the light, to get everything they’re supposed to get out of this game because it goes quicker than they think. This game goes very faster than they think.
“Before you know it, you’re 1-0; before you know it, you’re in title contention, then before you know it, the game is over,” said Scott.
Ngannou getting an opporunity
“I’m happy Ngannou is getting a shot, and Fury has recognized not the kind of fighter he is but the kind of man he is,” said Malik. “That’s why Fury was so excited about this fight because he loves the internal Ngannou.
I know about Fury loving the “internal Ngannou” bit that Malik is blabbering about. Ngannou was obviously chosen by Fury’s management for these reasons:
- Easy money
- Crossover appeal
- Protects Fury from facing boxers that could potentially beat him
- Fury’s advanced age & inactivity. He might be too old to beat the A-level contenders in the heavyweight division now, including Wilder
“I want Tyson Fury’s head on the plate if he’s fighting us, but you have to commend him on how he’s going about this fight with Ngannou. It’s all Fury giving him an opportunity.
“It’s not Ngannou giving him an opportunity. He’s picked a man who isn’t even a boxer. More than anything, I’m happy that Ngannou & Fury are making this high revenue. That’s where I want my guy Deotay Wilder to be, making all the money because he deserves it. He’s the electricity in the heavyweight division. I want him to leave being the richest in the sport.
“You got to give kudos for just the humility that is being put on deck. Mike Tyson is in the corner of Ngannou. So just the collaboration of it all. Even if you’re not a Tyson Fury fan, you have to be happy with the way this whole thing has been orchestrated and an honest man,” said Malik.