UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou throws hat in the ring for Tyson Fury fight amid Dillian Whyte issues

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has called out Tyson Fury for a huge crossover fight in the boxing ring.

The British WBC belt-holder is currently embroiled in tough talks with Dillian Whyte over a mandatory defence of his crown, with issues over his opponent’s cut of the purse delaying a deal.

But Fury will not be short of opponents once the Whyte fight is seen off one way or another, particularly if a unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk or potentially Anthony Joshua does not materialise.

Ngannou, 35, has informed UFC that any future agreement with the MMA organisation must allow him to try his hand at boxing.

“It's always been down the line,” he told TMZ. “This is something I'm not taking my eyes off of.

“It's gonna happen, either way. Even if, when the UFC and I finalise a deal, the boxing part has to be in it because I can't see myself retiring without boxing,

“Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level.

“It's not the same sport, although I'm the champion, I'm in the top in this division. At the end of the day, it's just about trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I'm sure that if I deliver my own punch, it's pretty good, I can make some damage.”

Ngannou has one fight left on his contract with UFC, against interim champ Cyril Gane next month, after he claimed the heavyweight belt from Stipe Miocic in March.

Meanwhile, Wilder’s next step is unknown following his trilogy defeat to Fury - although retirement has been mooted by the 36-year-old.

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