• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Ngannou hopes for upset against Anthony Joshua

Joshua-Ngannou (2)

After dropping Tyson Fury to the canvas in October 2023, Francis Ngannou, is hoping to set another upset when he takes on Anthony Joshua, in his second professional boxing bout in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Having lost controversially to Tyson Fury in his debut, Ngannou will once again aim to prove that he belongs when he takes on Joshua in Riyadh, with AJ, one of the world’s best, a pretty big target.

The 34-year-old Nigeria-born British boxer is the favourite to get the job done and set up a potential world title bout against Filip Hrgovic, or either Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk after their undisputed fight in May.

But having given Fury a major scare, in a fight many believed the 37-year0old Cameroonian should have won on points, Ngannou is confident he can take Joshua to the canvas.

“We were doing the promo and he was very chilled, very relaxed,” Ngannou said.

“I asked him if he was OK because he looked a little nervous or something because I was OK. I had no problems. I was just talking around, laughing.

“I think we are both professional enough to know what we have to do to get to where we want to go.”

While Ngannou hit the pads during his public workout on Wednesday, Joshua used his slot to briefly do some shadow boxing before leaning on the ropes and watching on after inviting a group of young Saudi Arabian boxers into the ring.

Asked why he had decided against entertaining the fans in attendance, Joshua said: “I’m here to fight.

“I was not acknowledging that with all due respect, I’m here to fight.”

But Joshua’s trainer Ben Davison, having watched Ngannou’s workout from ringside, revealed his confidence that AJ will get the job done on Friday.

“We won’t go in there looking for it, forcing it,” Davison responded when quizzed on whether Joshua was seeking a knockout.

“I’m convinced that [Ngannou] won’t be able to do the rounds with the way that AJ is going to approach the fight.

“Not because he is not able to physically do the rounds. Just the approach that AJ is going to take and the lack of experience that Ngannou has.”