How ‘freak’ athlete Francis Ngannou would have been a star in totally different sport… if he was born in America


FRANCIS NGANNOU could have been a star in a totally different sport… had he been born in America.

Ngannou’s remarkable story saw him leave Cameroon at the age of 26 to seek a better life in Europe.

GettyFrancis Ngannou ahead of his fight with Anthony Joshua[/caption]

@francisngannouNgannou put the work in during training camp[/caption]

@trippe_haleStrength and conditioning coach Trippe Hale with Ngannou[/caption]

And after battling homelessness and border control, he made it to France after 14 horror months on foot.

From Paris he became a prizefighting sensation, winning the UFC title after just eight years in the sport.

But last year he put his MMA career on hold to cross over to boxing for a blockbuster bout with Tyson Fury.

The mother of all upsets even looked on the cards when he floored Fury, 35, only to lose a controversial split-decision.

Now he returns to the ring on Friday against Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.

Helping whip the 6ft 4in, 19st monster of a man into shape is strength and conditioning coach Trippe Hale.

And Hale warned Joshua, 34, that Ngannou, 37, is just as frighteningly powerful as he looks.

He told SunSport: “He is a big boy, he’s a freak. 


“But with that it’s not always about making him bigger or stronger, it’s about making him more mobile, more stable, more in shape, a better conditioned athlete. 

“Everybody has all the tools and resources in the world for recovery but I feel like they take away from the condition side.

“This is not the case with Francis, every single muscle he has are go muscles.

“You have show muscles and go muscles, his might look like show muscles but they are go muscles. 

“Every single muscle in his arm, you will feel that when he punches you.” 

Ngannou linked up with Hale after he left the UFC and lost access to their Performance Institute and the coaches there.

He joined boxing coaches Dewey Cooper and John M’Bumba as well as MMA head trainer Eric Nicksick in the camp.

And after a test run against Fury, Hale said: “His confidence is way higher.

Guest posting agency=

“Last time he would wonder if he was in good enough shape, he would question things like that. He’d say, ‘Do you think I need another week? Do you think I need this?’

“There’s been no questions about that. He understands he went the ten rounds with one of the best in the world.

@francisngannouThe pair have been working together for a year[/caption]

@francisngannouHale is part of Ngannou’s boxing team[/caption]

@francisngannouNgannou put his MMA career on hold for boxing[/caption]

“I think he knows inside what he needs to feel like and what he needs to accomplish. Dewey, John and Eric were a lot harder on him this camp in sparring. I think that’s played a big impact on his will.” 

Joshua’s coach Ben Davison is renowned for his analytical boxing brain and attention to detail.

But Hale insisted anyone would be wasting their time banking on film study from his boxing debut against Fury.

He said: “I mean it’s a big time growth from last camp, he’s a completely different boxer.

“If people are watching film on the last fight, that’s a completely different person than you’re going to deal with in this fight.

“And that’s what I’m excited about.” 

Hale has been in the coaching game for over 17 years and has worked with athletes from basketball to baseball.

@francisngannouNgannou returns to face AJ in only his second boxing bout[/caption]

@francisngannouThe ex-UFC champion has been described as a ‘freak’ athlete[/caption]

@francisngannouNgannou stands 6ft 4in tall and weighs over 19 stone[/caption]

But his bread and butter is American football and he knows an NFL talent when he sees one – and Ngannou has all the makings of one.

Hale said: “If he was born in America, he would be playing in the NFL, no doubt about it. 

“He wouldn’t have a choice! Especially if I got a hold of him, he wouldn’t have a choice.”

Guest posting agency=

But what position would Ngannou be if he traded the ring for the field?

“He would definitely be a DN, defensive end,” Hale said. People don’t understand how fast he is, the guy can run.

“He can run so I could definitely see him being like a Myles Garrett, who was defensive player of the year this year. 

“He definitely has that body type, that size, that kind of speed. He would definitely be an NFL football player if he was born in America.” 

AFPJoshua facing off with Ngannou[/caption]

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email