Anthony Joshua, the British boxer who secured victory over Otto Wallin, is preparing for a high-profile bout against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia. The 10-round heavyweight showdown will take place in Riyadh, with the exact date yet to be disclosed, possibly in March. Ngannou, a 37-year-old Cameroonian known for his UFC dominance, entered professional boxing, narrowly missing a win against Tyson Fury in his debut.
The announcement follows Joshua’s initial plans to face Deontay Wilder, disrupted by Wilder’s loss to Joseph Parker. Despite not holding any belts since his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021, Joshua shifts his focus from a potential fight against Filip Hrgovic to the upcoming challenge with Ngannou.
In another report, it has been confirmed that Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will engage in a 10-round heavyweight fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The official announcement is expected during a press conference on January 15, with the bout likely scheduled for March 8. This development comes after discussions for a significant showdown between Joshua and Ngannou, described as “absolutely colossal” by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Ahh shit, here we go again.. 8/3/24 pic.twitter.com/qs5A7kdMPk
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) January 6, 2024
Tonight we confirm it’s a Done Deal! @anthonyjoshua v @francis_ngannou collide on a huge night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – press conference Jan 15 in London with full details dropping soon! #JoshuaNgannou @Turki_alalshikh @MatchroomBoxing @Queensberry #RiyadhSeason 🇸🇦
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) January 5, 2024
Francis Ngannou, born in Cameroon and ranked the 10th heavyweight by the WBC, nearly upset WBC heavyweight champion Fury in their previous Saudi Arabia bout. Organizers had initially slated Joshua against Wilder, but plans shifted after Wilder’s defeat. Although no contract had been signed, Joshua and Wilder were expected to announce a future fight post-fight. In the midst of these developments, Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are set to vie for the undisputed heavyweight championship on February 17 in Saudi Arabia.