• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo


Hearn mocks Ngannou’s excuse for Knockout defeat to Anthony Joshua


Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is poking fun at Francis Ngannou‘s excuse for his knockout defeat to Anthony Joshua.

Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, suffered a second-round knockout against Joshua in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

Despite putting up a strong fight in the first round, Ngannou succumbed to Anthony Joshua’s powerful punches, ending the bout swiftly.

In an interview on The MMA Hour, Ngannou suggested that the late-night timing of the fight in Riyadh negatively impacted his final preparations.

“Listen, I think we both fight at 3 am,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour.

“It’s not like I fought at 3 am and he fought at like midnight or something. We both fought at 3 am.

He claimed that he had been instructed to arrive at the Kingdom Arena much earlier than Joshua, leaving him waiting backstage for an extended period and feeling fatigued.

“What I think happened is that they get me to the arena very early. Like my pickup time was 10.30pm to go to the arena. And then when we get to the arena, they tell us that we are scheduled around 1.45am.

“Anthony Joshua came to the locker room around 1am and we were fighting the same time.

“But for the fight, at least two hours beforehand. They did this kind of trick to get me tired.

“I didn’t know how important that was, until the fight day that I had to get there two hours before.”

However, Hearn dismissed Ngannou’s explanation, implying that the knockout might still be affecting him mentally.

Responding to Ngannou’s comments shared on Instagram, Hearn wrote: “I’m not sure he has come round yet from the knockout.”

Ngannou’s future in combat sports remains uncertain, with rumours suggesting a potential return to MMA. The Cameroonian recently signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and is scheduled to face Renan Ferreira in his next bout.