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WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be an interested observer to this Friday’s colossal heavyweight clash in Saudi Arabia but says that Francis Ngannou owes him a debt of gratitude for his newfound status in boxing’s heavyweight fold.

Former UFC champ Ngannou can take a giant leap towards what would be an historic world title opportunity should he defy the odds in a few days’ time to score an upset victory over Anthony Joshua. The fight, Ngannou’s second in a professional boxing environment, follows his debut in October in which the boxing neophyte dropped Fury en route to a razor-thin split decision defeat to a fighter regarded by many as the finest heavyweight of his generation.

And Fury, who remains in preparation for a May bout with Oleksandr Usyk, says that Friday’s contest in Riyadh has the ingredients of an exciting bout — even if Ngannou should be thankful to him for the stage that he is now competing on.

“I think it’s a great fight, it’s a good fight,” Fury told the Stomping Ground podcast, as noted by MMA Junkie. “When I was fighting Ngannou, it was ‘a mismatch’ and ‘a bullsh*t fight,’ but it is what it is, and styles make fights. I’m not sure what people expected of the man before that.

“I know it was supposed to be a 1,000-1 shot and he was useless, and he couldn’t fight and all that,” Fury continued. “But he proved everyone wrong, so fantastic for him. I put him on the map, made him a multi-millionaire, and now I’m making him even more money. So he needs to thank me. He needs to get on his knees and kiss my feet, doesn’t he, for what I’ve done for him?”

But despite having history with both men, Fury says he is not invested in the result.

“I don’t know [who wins] and I don’t care, to be honest,” Fury said. “Whatever happens, happens. The best man will win on the night. They’re heavyweight giants, so anyone can win. Some good, brilliant fights on Friday. I’m looking forward to the whole bill.”

Fury’s friend and occasional training partner, Joseph Parker, fights Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang in the co-main event, while his brother, Roman Fury, fights Martin Svarc on the undercard.