Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou

Edwin  - CEO January 7, 2024
Updated 2024/01/07 at 1:41 AM
3 Min Read
Ngannou vs Joshua (via @francisngannou, @anthonyjoshua - Instagram)
Ngannou vs Joshua (via @francisngannou, @anthonyjoshua - Instagram)

Opening Betting Odds Have Been Released

Francis Ngannou


Francis Ngannou hasn’t earned respect from the oddsmakers despite his legendary performance against Tyson Fury, Jake Foley reports for MMA News.


Ngannou has opened as a sizeable betting underdog for his upcoming boxing match against Anthony Joshua.


In early 2023, Ngannou vacated the UFC heavyweight title and parted ways with the promotions after negotiations for a new contract fell through. The aftermath of the shocking news led to Dana White and most of the combat sports community ridiculing ‘The Predator’ for “fumbling the bag.”


Ngannou went on to sign a lucrative contract with the Professional Fighters League, giving him the freedom to pursue a massive payday in professional boxing. On October 28, 2023, the Cameroon-born heavyweight fought Tyson Fury and secured over $10 million for the ten-round boxing match in Saudi Arabia.


The Predator plans to return to MMA in 2024, but firstly, he will fight Anthony Joshua in another high-profile boxing match. The highly-anticipated matchup is scheduled for March 8 in the new home of world-class boxing, Saudi Arabia.


Ngannou made a statement when he knocked down Fury and nearly defeated the heavyweight great. Yet, the split-decision loss hasn’t persuaded the oddsmakers, as the former UFC heavyweight champion is somewhat overlooked for his upcoming fight against Joshua.


According to Bovada, Ngannou is listed as a +400 underdog, while Joshua is a +650 favorite. It should also be noted that the same odds source has the over/under on rounds at 5.5, meaning they believe ‘AJ’ vs. ‘The Predator won’t be going the distance.



Why is Anthony Joshua fighting Francis Ngannou instead of Deontay Wilder?

On December 23, 2023, a high-profile boxing event called “Day of Reckoning” was held in Saudi Arabia, which showcased some of the best heavyweights on the planet. The event was headlined by Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin in the main event and Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker in the co-main event.


The plan was for Joshua and Wilder to win and then sign a two-fight deal for the first half 2024. ‘AJ’ held up his part with a fifth-round TKO win against Wallin, while Wilder came up short and suffered a unanimous decision loss against Parker.



Therefore, the fight between Joshua and Wilder wasn’t as marketable, leading to Francis Ngannou receiving the opportunity to secure another payday and potentially shock the world again.


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