Francis Ngannou's journey to becoming UFC champion and facing Tyson Fury is a perfect movie script
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Francis Ngannou is said to be earning around £10 million for his professional boxing debut against Tyson Fury on Saturday.
It will be a career-high purse for the Cameroonian, who was reportedly paid £600,000 for his final fight in UFC against Cyril Gane.
And the superfight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia represents another incredible milestone for Ngannou, whose life story ought to be made into a movie one day.
Growing up in the small town of Batie in Cameroon, Ngannou had nothing as a kid and would regularly go hungry.
Raised by his single mother but soon living with his aunt, he had to rummage through bins and fight off rats for food.
With no money, Ngannou was forced to work on a sand quarry at the age of 10 and digged until he was 17 so he could try and provide for his poverty-stricken family.
"You would have to go to the market at night time to go find food in the trash," Ngannou said on the Joe Rogan Experience.
"Sometimes you'd argue with a rat in the trash - 'Get away from this tomato, it's mine, this rotten tomato is mine, not yours.'
"I was about ten years old when I started (mining) in the village.
"Even though that work was meant for adults, but we didn't have any option. We take what we had at the time."
He had to two hours to get to school and did not have funds for basic equipment such as pens or a bag and he later took up other jobs such as being a motorcycle taxi driver to try and make ends meet.
In pursuit of a better life, he decided to leave Cameroon but there were several stop-offs on his journey.
On the way to Algeria, he had to drink out a dirty well containing dead animals after crossing the Sahara desert.
He also had his body cut open by a barbed wire and was dropped back to the desert on six different occasions as his attempts were thwarted.
Winding up in Morocco, he then set his sights on entering Spain but was jailed for two months for crossing the border illegally by sea.
When freed he made his way to Paris, France, without a penny to his name and not even a bank account.
Homeless and living on the streets, the 6ft 4 heavyweight started training for free under Didier Carmont in 2013.
Initially fixed on boxing, he switched to martial arts and had his first fight in November of that year.
He ended up getting his foot in the door at UFC and had his first fight in the company in 2015, producing the first of many devastating knockouts when he sent Luis Henrique into next week.
Ngannou did suffer defeats against Derrick Lewis and Stipe Miocic along the way but avenged the latter loss from 2018 in emphatic fashion in 2021 when he became the UFC heavyweight champion in Las Vegas.
He defended his title once with a win over Gane at UFC 270 but ended up leaving the company after his contract expired and signed with PFL, where he is an equity owner and chairman of the upcoming Africa league.
He is yet make his debut with the promotion but they have allowed him to take on Fury inside the squared circle.
Ngannou now rocks expensive clothes and was gifted a luxury watch by five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, he hasn't forgotten where he has come from.
Ngannou still helps out on that same sand quarry when he returns to Cameroon he also set up the 'The Francis Ngannou Foundation', providing a gym back home and giving young people the facilities that he never had access to.