Anthony Joshua vs. Ngannou and Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker: Tonight’s Preview and Predictions

By Chris Carlson - 03/08/2024 - Comments

On a Friday afternoon from Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua faces Francis Ngannou in another installment of boxer versus MMA fighter. Can Joshua do a better job of separating from Francis than Tyson Fury did? Will Ngannou be more comfortable and confident based on his performance last time out? The undercard has some interesting bouts including Zhang vs. Parker, Vargas vs. Ball, and Madrimov vs. Kurbanov. This card will be live streaming exclusively on DAZN PPV priced at 39.99 for subscribers.

To close out 2023, Anthony Joshua looked very good in a stoppage over Otto Wallin. In what was his 3rd fight of the year, Joshua appeared sharp and assertive on offense, something that had been lacking for quite some time. Sure, Wallin isn’t Usyk but it was refreshing to see him more offensive minded. His jab was effective as he attacked openings left by Wallin landing heavy shots very early in the fight.

On the flip side, Francis Ngannou surprised the vast majority of the boxing world by how competent he was in a boxing ring. Just Francis’s stance alone was impressive, considering how different a boxing stance is from MMA. Ngannou was looking to counter at times and even scored a knockdown on Fury. So it is logical that Ngannou will settle in nicely gaining confidence after losing a tight result against Tyson Fury.

The bottom line here is all credit to him but Francis snuck up on Tyson Fury and it was clear the Gypsy king didn’t take him 100 percent serious. Also, personally I’m happy for Francis getting paydays he earned from boxing. You can say a lot about Anthony Joshua both good and bad. The one item that stands out is his fundamentals as an offensive fighter when his mind is right. That Anthony Joshua is the one will see on Friday.

My Official Prediction is Anthony Joshua by stoppage.
Anthony Joshua vs. Ngannou and Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker: Tonight's Preview and Predictions

Now let’s get to a great heavyweight matchup between Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker. Both men are coming into this one on fire, Zhang with back-to-back knockouts over Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker defeating Deontay Wilder. The winner will be lined up for yet another big fight assumingly or maybe it will be good enough to warrant a rematch.

For Parker it’s all about getting to the 2nd half. Can he take the damage that surely is coming his way? Parker needs to attack the head and body of Zhang. Another key for Joseph, don’t stand in front of Zhang. Get your punches off then exit or clinch. If in fact Parker makes it to the deep waters he just might be able to drown Zhilei.

For Zhang we know stamina could play a part in his demise. This boxing podcaster believes that’s the only way he loses this fight. Zhang has better timing with his counter ability and looks for him to parry Parker’s punches. Zhang’s left hand is powerful, no doubt, but his right hand can be just as deadly (Ask Joe Joyce). Zhang has a great jab that he lands crisply or will use to blind his opponents, followed by a nasty left hand. Straight left hand and right hook may be the curtains shot to end the show.

Anthony Joshua vs. Ngannou and Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker: Tonight's Preview and Predictions

My Official Prediction is Zhilei Zhang by knockout.


Side Note: Plus, the DAZN PPV card has Rey Vargas vs. Nick Ball and Israil Madrimov vs. Magomed Kurbanov. My Picks: Vargas by Decision and Madrimov by Decision.

Anthony Joshua vs. Ngannou and Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker: Tonight's Preview and Predictions

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio