• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Khan warns Joshua of Ngannou’s knockout threat

Joshua-Ngannou (1)

Amir Khan, the former unified light-welterweight world champion, has cautioned two-time WBA, WBO, and IBF champion Anthony Joshua ahead of his non-title heavyweight fight against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

The fight is set to take place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 8.

Khan, who retired after his defeat to Kell Brook in their long-awaited showdown two years back, warns Joshua about the formidable challenge posed by Ngannou.

Ngannou shocked many boxing pundits with his ability when he faced WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in their 10-round non-title fight at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last October. The 37-year-old Cameroonian dropped Fury with a powerful left hook in the third round and only lost by split decision by scores of 95-94, 94-95 and 93-96.

“I think Joshua is a very smart fighter,” Khan said to All Out Fighting. “It will still be a hard fight because you’ve got to understand, Ngannou got more confidence going into this fight and he thinks he can hurt and knock out Joshua.

“Ngannou says that Joshua got a weak chin, so he’s going to go for that really and try to throw those big bombs. If he connects, who knows what might happen? One thing about the heavyweight division is that if one punch lands it can change a fight.

“[Tyson Fury’s] one hard fighter to hit clean. So many top guys have tried to knock him out, knock him down or hurt him. Not to sound disrespectful – I like Joshua, I think he’s a great fighter – but I think he’s easier to hit than Fury.

“The way people look at boxing now after that fight [Ngannou had] with Fury is that boxers are a little bit weaker than MMA fighters. This is where Joshua needs to show them that boxers are not weaker, boxers are better and stronger.”

Khan isn’t the only one who thinks this is a risky fight for Joshua, but one that he should win. The 34-year-old Brit even received support from an MMA legend.

“I’m rooting for Francis to win only because of his story, how far he has come in life and him being a fellow mixed martial artist,” reigning UFC heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones said during the broadcast of the ‘PFL vs Bellator: Champs’ event on the weekend.

“How could you not root for Francis? Francis is a wonderful, stand-up person. So I’m rooting for Francis.

“But Anthony Joshua has been doing this since he was a young boy. I’m the type of guy who gives respect where it’s due. So if I had to put my money on it — not that I gamble — I would put it on Anthony Joshua. But I am rooting for Francis.”