‘If Joshua Takes The Punch That Dropped Fury, He May Not Get Up!’
As Boxing Scene reports, MMA veteran Francis Ngannou believes he has enough skill and punching power to knock Anthony Joshua out.
Ngannou, in only his second fight in professional boxing, will face the former two-time world champion on March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In October last year, Ngannou made his pro debut in a non-title fight against WBC world champion Tyson Fury.
In a performance that no expert had expected, Ngannou dropped Fury in the third round and then fought him in a competitive fight for the remainder of the contest. Fury was able to come away with a close ten-round split decision win.
“The day is set,” Ngannou told MMA Fighting. “It’s two months from now, and if any of them think they will have easy money, too bad for them. If AJ takes Fury’s punch, I don’t guarantee that he’s [getting back] up. I have heard that he doesn’t have a chin. I’m going to find out.”
Last year, Joshua stayed very active and saw action three times.
On December 23, he battered and stopped top contender Otto Wallin in five rounds.
Most observers considered Joshua’s victory one of his best performances in several years.
Ngannou praised him for the win, but he believes the British star is still the same boxer who suffered three defeats in the ring.
“I think he’s still the same fighter,” Ngannou said. “Being the same fighter doesn’t mean you can’t lose. He lost to Andy Ruiz. He lost to Oleksandr Usyk, and he can still lose. By the way, I intend to hand him a loss on March 8. You can still be who you are but still lose. Nobody is undefeated.”
Eddie Hearn: “I Truly Believe Anthony Joshua Will Become Undisputed”
Eddie Hearn has always been incredibly confident in Anthony Joshua. But, following a rough stretch in 2022, the longtime promoter admitted that Joshua needed to start from the ground up, Hans Themistode reports for the Boxing scene.
Being near the bottom of the heavyweight ladder, devoid of a title, was Joshua’s worst nightmare. However, he placed his head down, bit down on his mouthpiece, and began putting in the work.
Initially, Joshua didn’t look quite as sharp against Jermaine Franklin despite picking up the win. The same could be said for his victory over Robert Helenius a few months later. But while most were convinced that Joshua’s best days were behind him, the 34-year-old wasn’t buying it.
In his most recent outing against Otto Wallin, Joshua told all who would listen that he would prove that he was back to his usual self. Plenty, though, including Hearn, was skeptical. With that said, after blowing Wallin out of the water, Hearn not only believes that his man is in form, but he has a strong feeling that he’ll aggregate every significant world title sooner rather than later.
“I truly believe Anthony Joshua will become undisputed heavyweight champion,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani.
On February 17, Hearn plans to open a bag of popcorn, grab a ringside seat, and watch Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk battle it out for all heavyweight marbles. Hearn doesn’t care who wins, but if he had to guess, he’s on Fury’s side.
If his fellow Brit takes care of business against Usyk and moves onto a showdown with Joshua, Hearn likes Joshua’s chances. The biggest reason for Hearn backing the former champ, nevertheless, is a simple one.
Just a few months ago, Fury was expected to make it look easy against Francis Ngannou, a former UFC champion making his debut. Fury, though, looked awful when he won. That performance and Joshua’s recent performance have Hearn floating on cloud nine.
Typically, Hearn is the one who stops and answers questions presented to him by media members and fans. This time around, he had something that he wanted to ask.
“Off the back of AJ vs Otto Wallin and Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou – you’re telling me you don’t fancy AJ against Fury?”