Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua boxing match reportedly a “done deal”

By Cole Shelton - January 5, 2024

Francis Ngannou has his second pro boxing fight set.

Francis Ngannou

According to MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani through Turki Alashikh, Ngannou will return to the boxing ring against Anthony Joshua on March 9. The fight will be ten rounds and will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two will also have a press conference in the coming weeks in London to officially announce and start the promotion for the boxing match.

Just recently, Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn did an interview and mentioned Francis Ngannou was one of the three possible opponents for the Brit. Now, just days later, the fight has been agreed to and will happen in Saudi Arabia on March 9.

“So right now we have three fights that we’re in discussions for,” Hearn told iFL TV. “They’re all big and that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder for March. Our aim, and we’ve expressed this, is to fight the winner of Fury-Usyk. That’s all we want to do. Obviously, there’s the [Filip] Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title. There’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there, which would be absolutely colossal. There’s other heavyweights as well. The [Zhilei] Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury.”

Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 0-1 boxing) is coming off a split decision loss to Tyson Fury in October. Ngannou entered the fight as a massive underdog and most expected it to be a non-competitive fight. However, Ngannou dropped Fury and when the final bell rang, many thought he should have gotten his hand raised.

Ngannou’s boxing loss to Fury was his first fight since January of 2022 when he beat Ciryl Gane by decision to defend his UFC heavyweight title. It was the final fight of his deal and he then explored free agency and inked an MMA deal with the PFL, but ‘The Predator’ has yet to make his promotional debut.

Anthony Joshua (27-3) is on a three-fight win streak and coming off a fifth-round stoppage victory over Otto Wallin last month in Saudi Arabia. Joshua had a deal in place to box Deontay Wilder in March after that fight, but ‘The Bronze Bomber’ lost to Joseph Parker which led to the Francis Ngannou fight coming together.

Joshua is the former WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion, with his losses coming to Andy Ruiz Jr., and Oleksandr Usyk, twice. In his career, Joshua holds notable wins over Robert Helenius, Andy Ruiz Jr., Joseph Parker, Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Dillian Whyte among others.


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