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Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua set for 10-round boxing fight in Saudi Arabia


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Wilder blew it but damned if Eddie and AJ are gonna be denied their payday.

By Callie Lawson-Freeman, Yahoo Sports

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is headed back to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for another major boxing match.

He's set to fight two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed Friday.

It will take place on March 9.

For Ngannou (0-1), the bout is another opportunity to prove that his exit from the UFC in early 2023 was a good move. He already did the seemingly unlikely when he secured a big ticket boxing matchup against Tyson Fury, which he lost by split decision in Riyadh on Oct. 28.

But even as the -1400 favorite against Ngannou, Fury said he was taking the fight seriously. Fury, the WBC heavyweight boxing champion, was smart to do so. Ngannou looked competitive in the contest and turned some heads when he dropped Fury in the third round. When all was said and done, some fans went as far as claiming Ngannou won the fight.

It was a win-win scenario on Ngannou's side, resulting in the biggest payday of his career. The success came after he was scrutinized for leaving the UFC to sign with the Professional Fighters League despite an offer that UFC president Dana White said would've made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the promotion's history.

Now, Ngannou is cashing in again as a boxer and he appears to be excited about the next step in his career transition.

While he was quick to post on social media about the news, Joshua has yet to acknowledge it.

Joshua will be required to talk about the fight soon but he'll have the benefit of promoting it on his home turf. A news conference is scheduled for Jan. 15 in London, according to Hearn.

Joshua recently beat Otto Wallin on Dec. 23. The U.K. star made the fight look easy, forcing Wallin's corner to throw in the towel after the fifth round. It was Joshua's third consecutive win, and he'll look to continue that streak against Ngannou. Of his 27 career victories, 24 of them have been by knockout.

Joshua was reportedly scheduled to face Deontay Wilder in March instead of Ngannou but the matchup was spoiled when Wilder was upset by Joseph Parker last month.

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Focus had been on fighting Hrgovic for the vacant IBF. But, the winner of Fury vs Usyk could take weeks to announce anything i.e the rematch, where the IBF would then strip. Hrgovic fight probably take place after. The Saudi's decide the fights - they give a name and offer unbelievable money. Keeps Joshua busy and he'll make a fortune. Should be an entertaining fight.

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It's pretty good pick,  pr-wise.

 

I personally don't think Ngannou did all that well against Fury (save for one good punch) but the casuals sure do.

And we have a real wild card, since Ngannou has basically almost boxing backgound.  "Anything could happen."

 

I think I like it.  🙂

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Deontay Wilder’s manager confirms plans for stunning fight on Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou undercard

By Joe Boon, The Sun

DEONTAY Wilder is set to appear on another Anthony Joshua undercard in a blockbuster fight, according to his co-manager. And his opponent could even be the tough Chinese customer, Zhilei Zhang.

His co-manager Terry Lane stated:"Zhilei Zhang does indeed want to fight Deontay Wilder on the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou undercard."

Intriguingly, both fighters have been touted as long-term opponents for Joshua.

Zhang currently holds the WBO interim title after defeating Joe Joyce.

He fought AJ in the Olympics in 2012, where he lost.

On his Instagram account Zhang wrote: "I lost to a better man 11 years ago in the Olympics. I'm happy we have both come a long way, gone through ups and downs in life.

"Now it's time to do this for the sport of boxing and give it to the fans around the world. Let's get it on!"

Wilder had reportedly agreed to fight Joshua in a stunning £100million double fight deal before his bout against Kiwi Parker.

However, a shock defeat left that arrangement in tatters.

 

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Zhang has already be robbed once,  and now he wants to fight AJ?

What is he, nuts?

 

It would have been interesting to get Zhang - Parker on this undercard.   Wilder appears to be finished.

I guess Parker will hide out for a while,  waiting for his final big payday & not risking any interim loss.

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On 1/8/2024 at 5:39 PM, Cableaddict said:

Zhang has already be robbed once,  and now he wants to fight AJ?

What is he, nuts?

 

It would have been interesting to get Zhang - Parker on this undercard.   Wilder appears to be finished.

I guess Parker will hide out for a while,  waiting for his final big payday & not risking any interim loss.

--- Saudis will pay Zhang fortune to KO Deyonce on the Josh/Francis undercard, so don't weep for him, Argentina.

Meanwhile @age 31, Mighty Joe is a veritable cherub who has more gravitas with some unfinished biz vs Josh after many deplored the British referee interference in their first fight. Be a big International fight. Winner fights Zhang...who wif me? Who ag'in me?

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On 1/8/2024 at 11:39 PM, Cableaddict said:

Zhang has already be robbed once,  and now he wants to fight AJ?

What is he, nuts?

 

It would have been interesting to get Zhang - Parker on this undercard.   Wilder appears to be finished.

I guess Parker will hide out for a while,  waiting for his final big payday & not risking any interim loss.

Talk is Parker vs Hrgovic on the Joshua undercard. Also, Kovalev comeback.

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Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou promised winner will get undisputed title shot

 

On the Joshua vs Ngannou undercard, it was also confirmed Joseph Parker, the man who derailed plans for ‘AJ’ to meet Deontay Wilder, will take on Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/boxing/anthony-joshua-and-francis-ngannou-promised-winner-will-get-undisputed-title-shot/ar-AA1n0I5m

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Parker looks better than in recent years, (likely due to dumping the farce that is Kevin Barry)  but he still didn't look anywhere elite against Wilder.

Wilder simply fought horribly.  Or rather, Wilder didn't even really fight.  It was a joke.

 

Zhang is actually UNDER-rated.  He has excellent power and VERY good reflexes.   He absolutely beat Hrgovic, and I won't even tolerate a discussion on that.

The  main issue is his age,  but he doesn't move too much so that might be less of a factor than with most HW.

 

It's a great matchup, but my bet is Zhang via KO.

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