Tyson Fury has been backed to turn Francis Ngannou “on his head” if an intended fight between the pair goes through.
Fury has teased a fight with the UFC heavyweight and has suggested a mixed rules fight contested under the boxing rules but with both fighters wearing significantly lighter UFC gloves.
Ngannou’s contract expires after a clash between the heavyweights and Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on Saturday, January 22.
And while it has been suggested that Ngannou could then explore the possibility of a selective boxing ring match, former WBO cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli has advised him to steer clear.
Maccarinelli doesn’t believe the Cameroon-born fighter would stand a chance against the best boxers, given the differences between the two martial arts disciplines.
“This is what we’re talking about, is he switching to boxing to start a career or is he switching to boxing to fight one of the best guys?” Maccarinelli told air sports.
“If he plans to fight one of the best boys, he has no hope in hell, just as they would have no hope in hell in a cage with him.
“It’s two different sports, it’s two different rules, two different ways to hold your legs, two different ways to approach a fight, it’s just crazy.
“Do you think Ngannou comes in talking about… [Anthony] Joshua, Fury, [Oleksandr] Uysk, they would put him on his head… [Deontay] Wilders, Joe Joyce.
“It’s a different setting and people would say about its strength, but it’s just completely different.”
Ngannou recently told ESPN MMA that he was “definitely” open to trying boxing, and indicated that he would be happy to sign a new contract with UFC that would allow him to go both ways.
Macccarinelli understands why fans would love to see the man with the heaviest recorded punch in the world take on some of the world’s best heavyweights, and he thinks any top fighter would love the chance to take on him.
“I see him do it, I don’t think it would be a demonstration match, I think he would like to try it,” he added.
“But I don’t see him jumping into any of the big boys right away, I’m sure one of the top guys wouldn’t say no. If I was fighting, I would 100 percent. I think any boxer would.
“Offer Dillian Whyte to fight Ngannou and he would take it. I’ve heard Ngannou gave a good account of himself sparring with Joe Joyce, but again, sparring is sparring, fighting is fighting.
“[Floyd] Mayweath fought [Conor] McGregor, all the McGregor fans are like ‘he’s the hardest puncher he’s ever seen’, it’s just different levels.
“With Ngannou, he would come out swinging, and he would still be dangerous. I’m not saying he can’t punch, because of course he can, but he’ll come out swinging and fight one of these top guys like Fury and they make him just messy.
“He should be tired of the way he fights in a few rounds, he should change his tactics.”
UFC 270 takes place in California on Saturday.
Ngannou vs Gane headlines a five-game main card that also features Brandon Moreno’s defense of the flyweight title.