EDDIE HEARN believes an MMA-boxing crossover fight is possible between Dillian Whyte and Francis Ngannou.
A war of words has been sparked between the pair that could lead to heavyweight contender Whyte taking on his UFC counterpart in a unique duel.
Matchroom promoter Hearn wants to contact Dana White to discuss how the showdown would work once Whyte faces Alexander Povetkin in the ring.
Hearn told Sky Sports News: “I never really thought we would take this too seriously, but in the last week we have to take this seriously.
“The aim for Dillian Whyte is to become a world boxing champion, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Whyte against Ngannou towards the end of this year.
“Obviously we know [Alexander] Povetkin is next, but whether it’s October, November, December…”
Fans are clamouring for crossover contests following the success of Conor McGregor’s boxing clash with Floyd Mayweather and Tyson Fury’s venture into WWE.
For Hearn, this is an opportunity that cannot be missed with Whyte already boasting an inter-disciplinary record having won an MMA fight after only 12 seconds back in 2008.
It’s really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there’s a really good chance it could happen.”
He added: “I’m going to be reaching out to Dana White and saying: ‘Tell me how this works? Can we actually do this? Are we doing it in a ring? Are we doing it in a cage? Are we doing one round of each?’.
“It’s really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there’s a really good chance it could happen.
“There’s not just interest online, there is huge interest everywhere for that fight.
“When I first started discussing it, it was just something that had been mentioned. Fans of both disciplines have always said: ‘Whyte against Ngannou is a cracker’.
“I’ve started to receive a lot of interest from numerous people about staging that fight now. I think it does colossal numbers.
“It’s the first real, genuine crossover fight. I know we had Floyd and we had Conor, but this is a different kind of fight. This is a different kind of experience. This is brutality at its absolute rawest.
“This fight does huge numbers. It’s got the boxing fans, it’s got the MMA fans, it’s got the intrigue. It’s got everything.”
The fighters have recently become embroiled in a war of words with Whyte claiming that Ngannou is a “coward”.
Whyte is on the war path towards a second shot at heavyweight supremacyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Ngannou has developed a reputation as a KO kingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Speaking exclusively to SunSport, he stated his belief that his rival for effectively giving up during a pair of 2018 defeats.
He claimed: “I have called Ngannou a coward because, for a guy who is 6ft 4ins and 18 stone, he has not shown enough heart in his two defeats.
“He was on a ten-fight win streak, mostly first round wins against journeymen, and as soon as he stepped up he lost twice, when people did not just stand there and let him hit them.
“Ngannou said he would fancy a boxing match but I notice he didn’t mention my name even after I publicly called him a coward. Says it all really.
“However, I like the sound of stepping over to the UFC, seeing what sort of deal could be done. Becoming heavyweight champion in both is something no one has ever come close to doing before.”
Ngannou stopped his last four opponents in the first round and says he is now open to facing Whyte in whatever circumstances.
The 33-year-old told Sky Sports: “If he wants to fight MMA we will find out [if I’m a coward].
“I would have a boxing match. Whoever is possible and whenever is possible.
“The top heavyweights. I am always confident in my power. I have no doubts with my power.”
Eddie Hearn believes there is a big demand to see such a contestCredit: Reuters
Source: Boxing - thesun.co.uk