Francis Ngannou has urged Deontay Wilder to get back to his top form and named him as a future target after his fight with Anthony Joshua.
Wilder had signed to fight Joshua on March 8, however his defeat to Joseph Parker in December enabled Ngannou to step in to face ‘AJ’ in Saudi Arabia on the same date.
The 37-year-old will fight for just the second time as a professional boxer after shocking the world when he dropped Tyson Fury on route to a controversial split decision defeat in October.
The former UFC heavyweight champion was linked to an MMA bout with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ after signing up to the Professional Fighters League [PFL] following his split from the UFC, but he remains keen to face the Alabama man in a boxing ring.
“I’m here for the boxing career and there I have a lot of challenges, a lot of names,” Ngannou told Sky Sports’ MMA Club.
“For example, the top three guys that I’ve always had are Fury, Joshua and Wilder.
“Wilder better get it together because I’m not done, I want that name on my record.
“Two months ago, we were talking about fighting Deontay Wilder in the PFL.
“The landscape can change quick. Everything is possible.”
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 3, 2022
Wilder, who suffered a third professional defeat against Parker, looked out of sorts, only landing 39 punches over the course of his 12 round points loss.
The 38-year-old, former WBC heavyweight world champion, hinted in the immediate aftermath that he could call time on his 15-year career, but later vowed to reclaim the heavyweight championship.
“I’ve got to find my killer instinct back,” he told 78SPORTSTV.
“I’m too at peace, I’m too happy. When I had that dog in me, nobody had a chance.
“I will be a two-time heavyweight world champion.”
Ngannou arrived in Saudi Arabia last week to begin training camp for Joshua and was pictured reuniting with Fury at an event over the weekend, with ‘The Gypsy King’ also in the country to prepare for his undisputed heavyweight title showdown with Oleksandr Usyk on February 17th in Riyadh.
Turki Alalshikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, who has been given the resources to bring major events to the region, announced at the Joshua-Ngannou press conference his intention to match the winner with the victor of Fury-Usyk.