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Francis Ngannou to Face Anthony Joshua in High-Stakes Saudi Arabia Showdown

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon13 January 2024

In a meteoric rise through the boxing ranks, Francis Ngannou is set to take on former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a highly anticipated showdown in Saudi Arabia, as reported by veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. The fight's confirmation comes from Saudi royal advisor Turki AlAlShikh, with a press conference scheduled for January 15 to unveil the official date. Although the exact date is yet to be disclosed, sources suggest the 10-round heavyweight bout will likely unfold in Riyadh on March 8, originally earmarked for the Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder clash.

The announcement follows discussions initiated by Joshua's co-promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who hinted at an "absolutely colossal" fight involving Ngannou. This matchup was one of three possibilities, including Joshua facing the winner of the upcoming title unifier between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua, a former WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO champion, showcased his continued comeback with a recent victory over Otto Wallin. The win marked his third consecutive triumph after setbacks against Usyk. Despite expectations of a potential clash with Wilder, the American suffered an unexpected defeat to Joseph Parker on the Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia.

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For Ngannou, the booking against Joshua follows his impressive performance just three months ago, where he nearly upset Tyson Fury in his professional boxing debut. Initially written off, Ngannou shocked the boxing world by pushing Fury to his limits, even scoring a knockdown, ultimately losing via a closely contested split decision. The upcoming bout with Joshua adds another significant chapter to Ngannou's burgeoning boxing career.


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