Frank Warren on Joshua vs. Ngannou: “A Really Tough Fight”

By Michael Collins - 03/05/2024 - Comments

Promoter Frank Warren sees Anthony Joshua facing a difficult task on Friday against Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This fight is a must-win match for Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) so he can get a chance to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship later this year.

His Excellency is arguably lobbing a softball to Joshua by letting him take a fight against the novice Ngannou rather than insisting he fight someone with boxing experience like Zhilei Zhang or Filip Hrgovic, and it’s job to show that he’s still got enough left in the tank to win.

Ngannou lacks skills, but he hits hard, has a steel chin, and he’s going to be going after Joshua from the first bell. This is a different type of fighter than the last three marginal opponents that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has set him up against to get his confidence back.

Ngannou can punch, and he will be targeting Joshua’s fragile chin, looking to destroy him the way Andy Ruiz Jr. did in their first fight.

Joshua’s Resurgence

“He fancies the job against AJ, but AJ fancies the job against him. With his new trainer, Ben Davison, he put in a good performance last time out. He done a fantastic job against Otto Wallin and got himself back in the mix,” said promoter Frank Warren to Fight Hub TV about this Friday’s fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“This will really put him further in the mix if he can stop this guy and do what Tyson couldn’t do in the fight. So, a lot of people will be looking at that. I think this will be a really tough fight for him [Ngannou]. If he catches AJ, he’ll have a problem, and the guy can box a bit.

Fury’s Shadow

“That we’re going to find out. He’s [Ngannou] not a schmuck,” said Warren. “He’s a clever guy; he’s got a good trainer. They done their homework for the Tyson fight. Can he do better than he did last time? What can he do that is different than he did against Tyson?

“It’s a different opponent. Tyson is more of a boxer. We can’t say AJ is a better boxer than Tyson. He can punch. He’s a good boxer, don’t get me wrong. Tyson is a different class, as far as I’m concerned,” said Warren.

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