Boxing: Anthony Joshua to fight MMA star Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia

AP , Saturday 6 Jan 2024

Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's next fight will be against MMA star Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia, promotors have announced.

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua celebrates after defeating Otto Wallin in a boxing match at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, early Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023. Photo: AP


Ngannou has only boxed once professionally when he knocked down Tyson Fury before losing in a split-decision to the reigning WBC heavyweight champion in late October.

A date for the Riyadh fight wasn't announced but it looks likely to take place in March.

Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are scheduled to fight in Riyadh on Feb. 17 to unify all of the major heavyweight boxing titles. Usyk holds the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

The 34-year-old Joshua looked sharp before Christmas when he stopped Otto Wallin with a fifth-round technical knockout. On the same card, Deontay Wilder lost to Joseph Parker, which scuppered talk of a March bout between Wilder and Joshua.

Eddie Hearn, who is Joshua's promoter, announced Friday night that the Ngannou fight is a “ done deal ” and that a press conference will be held in London on Jan. 15.

The 37-year-old Ngannou of Cameroon is a former UFC champion.

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