Francis Ngannou: Anthony Joshua won't get back up from canvas against me like Tyson Fury did

February 19, 2024

Francis Ngannou has predicted that Anthony Joshua will not get back up from the canvas if the former UFC champion knocks him down as he explosively did to Tyson Fury.

The Joshua-Ngannou heavyweight clash will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office on Friday March 8, in what will only be Ngannou's second professional boxing bout, but he almost secured one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history in his first.

Last October Ngannou, having made his name in mixed martial arts, made his pro boxing debut against WBC heavyweight champion Fury in a 10-round non-title bout, with Ngannou shocking the world when he dropped Fury in the third round. Ngannou went on to lose in a split decision.

"Yeah, I have a doubt about that," Ngannou said on DAZN, when asked if Joshua could take what he dished out to Fury. "Tyson showed that he's very resilient. I saw him come back from knockdowns like you wouldn't believe.

"So I think he's probably one of the most resistant [sic] person out there, and that's not a disrespect to AJ.

"I don't believe that AJ would take what Tyson did."

Asked within the face-off interview whether that meant he thought Joshua did not have 'a chin' within the sport, Ngannou replied: "[Not] As much as Tyson."

Joshua, the former unified WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion, will fight Ngannou at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

Joshua is on a three-bout winning streak after rebuilding from a second consecutive loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2022.

Responding to Ngannou's comment regarding his chin, Joshua said: "Who hasn't knocked Tyson down? So many people have knocked Tyson down.

"People claim he's the greatest of many, many generations, but I think if I box Tyson Fury a lot of similarities will happen in the fight, so I am not surprised at all in terms of his [Ngannou] style, who Fury is, it's just a boxing match.

"Well done to both of them, they put on an entertaining fight but that's in the past. That's how boxing is, and we move forward now."

When asked whether he has any reservations about taking on a fight with Joshua, Ngannou said: "I asked for this fight. I watched him fight and then I made a tweet right away.

"Why? Because there was an opportunity and I know he was going to fight Deontay Wilder, and I saw an opportunity there. I made a tweet for this fight, I was calling for that fight.

"Again, this is my second boxing match and I'm fighting one of the best, one of the top three, after fighting another top three. So in two of my fights in boxing I'm going to fight potentially the best in the world..."

On the undercard, after upsetting Deontay Wilder, New Zealand's Joseph Parker will take on fearsome heavyweight Zhilei Zhang, who twice stopped Joe Joyce last year to win and retain the WBO Interim strap.

Watch Joshua vs Ngannou live on Sky Sports Box Office on Friday March 8.

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