The former unified heavyweight champion, Joshua, will collide with Ngannou on March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ngannou made his pro debut by giving WBC champion Tyson Fury all he could handle back in October of 2023. He dropped Fury in the third round and took him the full ten round distance. Fury was able to come away with a close split decision win.
Joshua saw action in December, when he battered and stopped top contender Otto Wallin in five rounds. “It’s a sensible fight for Anthony Joshua to make because of how well Francis Ngannou did against Tyson Fury. There’s a big question mark really. Was Francis Ngannou better than what we thought he was, or did Tyson take him too lightly? Either way, AJ was in good form against Otto Wallin showing good boxing ability, and his confidence will be back up no,” Hatton said to OLBG. “The fact that Tyson struggled, if AJ goes in and puts on an impressive performance then that’s a massive thing in their favor. I still think Tyson is the best heavyweight out there, he took Ngannou lightly, but I can see where Eddie Hearn is going with AJ in order to make the match because Tyson couldn’t of struggled anymore. If Joshua goes out there and impresses, it can only work in his favor. “AJ is a very good boxer and is known for his explosiveness and his power, but you don’t become an Olympic gold medallist and a two-time heavyweight champion of the world without the ability that Joshua has. But on the downside, he can be hurt, knocked down and stopped and when you think of the size and punching power Ngannou has got, there’s every chance he could knock AJ out, but the bigger picture is, Joshua is a very rounded, accomplished boxer. He’s very skilful and heavy-handed and it’s the right time for him because his confidence is sky high from the past couple of performances. If he goes out and there impresses where Tyson didn’t, it’ll work more in his favor when they sit down on the negotiation table and try and make the Tyson Fury fight.”