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Terence Crawford warns Francis Ngannou about boxing Deontay Wilder: ‘If he hits you, you’re going to sleep’


Terence Crawford believes Francis Ngannou could have success in boxing, but right now he’s aiming a little too high.

For over a year, Ngannou has talked about making the jump to boxing for a crossover superfight, akin to Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, even drawing some interest from names like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. But at the moment, Ngannou is still struggling to find an opponent ready to sign on the dotted line, leaving MMA’s lineal heavyweight champion in a bit of a stall. And according to Crawford, who’s one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world, that’s probably a good thing for “The Predator.”

“Listen, that guy is a puncher,” Crawford said on The MMA Hour. “He’s doing his thing in MMA, but it’s different over there, calling out the top heavyweights of the world today. I don’t see him having a chance with either one of those guys, and that’s just being honest.”

Crawford is not alone in thinking that. A number of fighters and pundits have suggested that Ngannou is as ill-prepared to face off with the best heavyweight boxers in the world as they would be were they to face him in MMA. Still though, Ngannou has pushed forward in pursuit of this dream, even announcing that he will not be making his return to MMA until 2024 as he continues to try and line up a marquee boxing match.

And that’s where Crawford believes Ngannou is making a mistake. Instead of chasing the big game, “Bud” believes Ngannou should aim a little lower.

“He’s got some skills,” Crawford said. “I would tell him, get your feet wet, try to fight some of those lower-tier guys first, just to feel yourself out, and get used to being in the ring, going rounds. It’s different. MMA and boxing are different. So just get used to some people with skills coming back at you and out-thinking you, the whole realm of boxing, before you go over there and try to mess with those guys. Because one guy that you’re going to get one shot — and if you mess up, you’re going to be knocked out into next week for messing with — [is] Deontay Wilder.

“If he hits you, you’re going to sleep. Deontay Wilder, he hits you, you’re going to sleep. Tyson Fury, he went to sleep and woke up. I don’t see too many other guys doing that. Deontay Wilder is one of the biggest punchers ever, so just keep that in mind.”

As things currently stand, Ngannou is still far away from landing his big boxing match. Wilder is rumored to be facing heavyweight slugger Anthony Joshua sometime this year, while Fury has recently started stirring things up with Dana White and Jon Jones after negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk broke down.

In the meantime, the 36-year-old Ngannou is coming off of knee surgery and has not fought since his unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

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