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Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou

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Anthony Joshua produced one of the finest performances of his career in a devastating knockout of Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, a former two-time unified heavyweight champion, took a step closer to a blockbuster undisputed fight against Tyson Fury with a superior performance to his rival, who was made to work by the Cameroonian on his debut last October.

• Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: Date, UK start time, undercard and how to watch fight

Joshua dropped the former UFC champion twice before a crushing third knockdown pinned Ngannou to the canvas in an emphatic stoppage. Afterwards Ngannou hailed Joshua’s knockout power.

The 34-year-old confirmed he is now in line to face the winner of Fury against Oleksandr Usyk, who beat ‘AJ’ twice previously. Follow the latest reaction and relive all the action from Knockout Chaos below:

 

JOSHUA VS NGANNOU LIVE

  • Highlights: Anthony Joshua knocks Francis Ngannou out cold
  • Joshua reacts to crushing knockout of Ngannou
  • Tyson Fury provides update on Joshua fight
  • Joshua sends message to Fury with apparent gun gesture
  • Joseph Parker defeats Zhilei Zhang to win WBO interim heavyweight title after surviving two knockdowns
  • Who will AJ next face?

    Tyson Fury

    The fight that fans, especially in Britain, have longed to see for years. Fury suggested after AJ’s win that there is still “a long way to go”, with the “Gypsy King” first set to box Usyk for undisputed status in May. Then there is the prospect of Fury vs Usyk 2, which is believed to be contractually agreed. With the Saudis’ involvement in boxing, however, Joshua vs Fury looks as likely as it has in years, and AJ’s chances of winning are perhaps better than ever – given each man’s current form.

    Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou LIVE: Joshua knocks out Ngannou in brutal fashion in second round, Parker also wins | Goal.com Nigeria

    Anthony Joshua next fight: Who will AJ face?

    Anthony Joshua dispatched Francis Ngannou with a devastating knockout in Saudi Arabia to boost his pursuit of becoming a three-time heavyweight world champion.

    Joshua dispatched the Cameroonian quickly and looked superior to Tyson Fury in the process, with the WBC heavyweight champion taken to points by the former UFC heavyweight champion last October.

    Joshua’s brutal power punching provides fresh momentum to his career with coach Ben Davison helping him to rediscover his ruthless streak.

    But with Fury next fighting Oleksandr Usyk, who defeated Joshua twice previously, in a bout to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion in May, Joshua’s future is uncertain.

    Here, Independent Sport analyses Joshua’s options moving forward and what comes next after such a scintillating performance in Riyadh.

    Anthony Joshua claims to be ‘heavyweight champion of the world’ after knocking out Francis Ngannou

    Anthony Joshua claimed he should be the “WBC heavyweight champion of the world” after knocking out Francis Ngannou.

    Joshua produced a timely reminder of his devastating punching power as he dropped the UFC champion twice in the second round before a crushing third knockdown in Saudi Arabia.

    It positioned Joshua to take on the winner of Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, who meet in an undisputed heavyweight title fight in May.

    Last October, Ngannou made his boxing debut against WBC heavyweight champion Fury, knocking down the Briton before losing a hotly-disputed decision in Riyadh.

    In a quirk of traditional boxing rules, Fury’s WBC title was not on the line. However, Joshua joked Ngannou held the title on merit and that he was now the WBC’s champion.

    Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou as it happened: Result and analysis from heavyweight fight - Live - BBC Sport

    Anthony Joshua claims to be ‘heavyweight champion’ after Francis Ngannou knockout

    Joshua positioned himself for a shot at the undisputed world heavyweight title – but believes he should already have the WBC bel

    ‘Told him not to leave’ – Joshua urges Ngannou not to quit boxing

    For Joshua it is now four wins in a row as he put himself in prime position to meet the winner of the May 18 fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

    “The Ben Davison performance centre, I appreciate them highly,” he said. “All of these guys that I worked with until this day. I’m just hungry. Stay hungry and all that good stuff.

    “It only takes one shot in the heavyweight division. Joseph Parker is one of my favourite fighters, he had it tough and look at him now. I’m just doing it while I’m here and making the most of it. In five years I won’t be fighting.

    “Eddie Hearn and my team will shape my future. I’m going back to my cage and when they let me out, I’ll fight again.

    “The people of Cameroon, I appreciate you. Africa united, respect. Everyone here tonight, I appreciate you. Thank you to Francis Ngannou.”

    ‘Told him not to leave’ – Joshua urges Ngannou not to quit boxing

    “On the road to the championship, you should always stay focused,” Joshua told broadcaster DAZN. “I thought this was something for the broadcasters to get behind.

    “When I saw the fight with Tyson Fury, I thought I want some of that. (Ngannou) is a great champion and this doesn’t take anything away from his capabilities. I told him not to leave boxing. He’s two fights in and he fought the best.”

    Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou Fight Card, Odds, & Predictions | BetMGM

    ‘Told him not to leave’ – Joshua urges Ngannou not to quit boxing

    Anthony Joshua urged Francis Ngannou not to quit boxing after he defeated the 37-year-old in just his second professional fight in Riyadh.

    Joshua knocked the former UFC champion out in the second round leaving him requiring oxygen in the ring.

    Ngannou, who performed well in losing narrowly on points to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in what had been his only previous fight, started brightly again in Riyadh, holding his own well for much of the first round.

    He was put on the canvas by Joshua with about a minute to go in the round, and when he went down again in the second there appeared to be little chance of Ngannou continuing.

    Steve Bunce: ‘Joshua coldly killed off Ngannou. Now his destiny is Fury’

    Here’s Steve Bunce, who was ringside to watch Joshua’s stunning win:

    Anthony Joshua stood at the feet of Francis Ngannou in round two of their fight in Riyadh in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    Joshua just looked down, there was no merry dance of celebration or relief; it was strictly business.

    Joshua had just sent Ngannou down for the third time and this time the former UFC champion was not moving. He was out cold and required medical attention in the ring.

    It was the only possible result for Anthony Joshua in a fight that he had to win. It is possible that a scrappy, ugly points victory would have not helped his image. The knockout was essential.

    Joshua was fighting for his future, defending his ring history and had to beat Ngannou in style. He did, and it was brutal, cold and calculating.

    Anthony Joshua coldly killed off Francis Ngannou. Now his destiny is Tyson Fury

    Fury was ringside to watch and applaud as Joshua out-boxed Ngannou with the performance of a heavyweight champion

    Ngannou insists he is ‘not done’ in boxing

    Ngannou will take some time away from the ring to reassess after his bold step into boxing took a serious knock.

    He had been linked with a rematch against Fury, as well as a bout against American former world champion Deontay Wilder, while he is set to return to MMA at some point this year to fight the new Ballator heavyweight champion Renan Ferreira.

    But Joshua urged the Cameroonian to continue his boxing career, and Ngannou insisted he is “not done” with the sport and that there is more to come.

    “As for right now, I think I’m going to go home, get some rest, process what just happened,” he said. “This has been a hell of a day, since this morning. I’ll process it and see what is the next step. But maybe MMA, but you can be sure that I’m not done here [in boxing]. Absolutely not. I’m not done.”

    Ngnanou reacts to ‘a bad day in the office’

    Later, Ngannou tweeted: “Sorry guys I let you all down. Today was a bad day in the office but tomorrow will be another day. Thank you all for the love.”

    Heavyweight Showdown: Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou | Evolve Daily

    Ngannou hails Joshua’s brutal knockout punch: ‘I didn’t feel it’

    Francis Ngannou congratulated his conqueror Anthony Joshua after being blown away in a devastating second-round knockout by the Briton, and admitted afterwards that he never even felt the final punch.

    Joshua delivered a heavyweight clinic with a dominant victory in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, and in doing so reclaimed his status as one of the world’s elite heavyweights after several tough years in the sport since losing his world titles to Oleksandr Usyk.

    Ngannou rocked Tyson Fury in the same city back in October, sending him to the canvas and eventually losing a controversial split decision. That performance was his first in professional boxing since making the transition from MMA, and left plenty of commentators questioning whether Joshua could handle his speed and power.

    But Joshua proved he was far too good with a blistering display and a brutal finish.

    “That was a clean one,” Ngannou said of the final blow. “In fact, I didn’t feel the punch. That’s what the knockout is about. I don’t feel any pain. That’s how I know I was knocked out … It was quite special because it stopped me. It did what Tyson Fury couldn’t do. It wasn’t my day, and he’s just way better than me today. It sucks, but it’s the game, we all know that. It’s the game.”

Joshua is hoping to get an undisputed world title shot with wins against Francis Ngannou and Filip Hrgovic but Eddie Hearn thinks it could come even sooner

Anthony Joshua is hoping wins against Francis Ngannou and Filip Hrgovic will set up an undisputed world title fight.

Joshua looks to pick up where he left off last year when he fights former UFC champion Ngannou on March 8 in Saudi Arabia. The fight was supposed to be taking place just a few weeks after Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk’s undisputed clash, but Fury suffered a cut in training and the fight has been pushed back to May 18.

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz

The winner of Joshua vs Ngannou was promised a shot at the undisputed belts but that won’t take place until next year as Fury and Usyk have to fight twice. Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn thinks there is a chance that Joshua could jump the line for a fight against Fury if both Brits win their upcoming fights.

Watch all of the biggest upcoming fights live on DAZN, with some of the best sporting action available as part of your subscription as well as on pay-per-view. DAZN is the only place to watch Anthony Joshua as well as the biggest upcoming fights in the Misfits boxing series. You can also follow all of the best action from fights around the world broadcast weekly as part of the package.

“The timing worked perfectly for AJ to stop Ngannou and for Fury to win. We appreciate there’s this fight and this rematch, but you know how things are going to go. Come on, you know how His Excellency moves. When the biggest fight in the history of the sport is in front of you to make I’m sure as hell find a way to keep everybody happy and make that fight but it’s irrelevant right now,” he told iFL TV.

Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury

“We need that fight to happen and now that fight is happening two months after our fight. So it sounds more likely that if AJ if triumphant will fight Filip Hrgovic for a world title, which is fine and then we’ll fight the winner of Fury vs Usyk. AJ is just like ‘Sign me up to everything, I’m going to beat everyone.’

Fury recently outlined his five-fight wishlist that included potential doubleheader against Joshua and Hearn admitted that he wants ‘The Gypsy King’ to stay in boxing for as long as possible. “I love to hear this. Boxing would be a worse or weaker place without Tyson Fury, keep him in the sport,” Hearn added.

“This is what I told you, he’s got the bit between his teeth. Good, I like seeing Tyson Fury like that. Good luck to him, he says two Usyk fights but I believe there’ll be one. I love it, music to my ears. Guess what, Hrgovic is going to knock Ngannou out and beat Hrgovic if that’s what he’s got to do. Then he’s going to knockout Tyson Fury.”

 

 

 

Anthony Joshua had one minor issue during his press conference with Francis Ngannou.

‘AJ’ is currently set to face ‘The Predator’ on March 8 in Saudi Arabia. For the former two-time champion, the bout will be his first since a stoppage win over Otto Wallin in December. At the time, the expectation was that he would face Deontay Wilder next.

However, due to ‘The Bronze Bomber’ losing to Joseph Parker last month, there was a change of opponent. As a result, the former UFC champion will be stepping in for Wilder. For Ngannou, the boxing match will be his second after nearly upsetting Tyson Fury in October.

Anthony Joshua could fight Francis Ngannou, Hearn says - Oma Sports

 

Earlier this month, the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou inaugural press conference was held. There, the two boxers were relatively stoic, and not a lot of trash talk was spoken. However, ‘AJ’ had one minor issue.

Speaking on The MMA Hour, Joshua was frustrated with a perceived lack of respect for his promoter, Eddie Hearn. Speaking to Ariel Helwani, the British boxer stated (via Boxing Social):

“I wanted them to reference him as a Hall of Fame promoter but they didn’t, but I thought I’m not going to cause any drama today, I’m going to let it slide. But yeah Eddie is a hot promoter in my opinion, he’s guided me from zero up to now, one of the best in the game and he’s trying to take over the market globally and I really respect him.”