In a recent interview, the mother of ex-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recalled her son’s extraordinary childhood.
She made the revelations ahead of the decisive and long-awaited combat between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury, to take place tomorrow October 28, 2023
According to Ngannou’s mother, the former heavyweight champ, at the age of five, she could do things only children aged 10 and above were capable of doing.
She said, “Francis was born, and he was different from other children; everything he did was always different. Even at 5 years old, he did what a 10-year-old child could do.”
She reiterated, however, that despite being strong enough, Francis Ngannou was never brutal and would never engage in a fight with someone to showcase or exercise his strength.
“He was never brutal; he didn’t like fighting, but he could fight even with the banana trees in the bush! He did everything that had to do with strength, but he didn’t fight. At 5 years old, he carried the containers of a 10-year-old child to fetch water; the wood he collected was always the big bundles,” she added.
Francis Ngannou, according to his mother, was greatly fascinated by boxing in general, to the extent that he would always be glued to boxing films, always talk about Mike Tyson, and at one point, he told his siblings to call him “American Boy.”
“When his little sister called him American Boy, I asked her, Who is that? She told me that Francis asked her to always call him an American boy. I said, “Mum, please don’t ever call him that again,” Francis Ngannou’s mother noted.
When quizzed on how she felt about her son’s fight, she said, “I think that the punch we are going to give him (Ngannou) will scare me a lot.”
Ngannou, who is two years older than Fury at 37, vacated his UFC heavyweight title earlier this year and signed with rival promotion PFL MMA, a deal that allows “The Predator” to box between fights.
The native of Cameroon, who moved to the United States after beginning his mixed martial arts career in France, entered the U.F.C. in 2015 and became the heavyweight champion in 2021.