Francis Ngannou sends a warning to “chinny” Anthony Joshua
Former UFC heavyweight world champion Francis Ngannou (0-1) is preparing for his second professional contest against former two-time world champion Anthony Joshua (27-3, 24KO) on March 8, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Known for his punching power, the Cameroonian floored the WBC champ, Tyson Fury, in his pro boxing debut last October in just the third round of their scheduled 10-round contest. He even managed to win the fight on one of the three judges' scorecards, causing many to believe he should have been declared the winner.
Now, he takes on a former unified world champion in just his second outing, where he plans to rip up the script yet again.
The 37-year-old is fully confident he can knock out his next opponent, who was stopped in seven rounds by the unheralded Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019.
“If AJ takes the punch that Fury took, I can’t guarantee he’s going to get up,” Ngannou told the MMA Hour. “I heard that he doesn’t have a chin. I’m going to find out. I really intend to hand him a loss.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn is looking ahead, past March 8, to line up a world title shot for AJ against the IBF No.1 mandatory contender, Filip Hrgovic. As the International Boxing Federation does not recognise rematches, it means their heavyweight belt will become vacant as soon as there's a winner between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk announced on February 17.
Hearn is already eyeing the vacant red and gold belt for Joshua and Hrgovic to vie for, despite Ngannou standing in his way in eight weeks time.
“Eddie is a promoter, that’s a routine for him. He says the same thing all the time about everyone. That’s what he does,” reasoned Ngannou. “The day is set, it’s two months from now, and if any of them think it’s going to be easy money then too bad for them.”