Joshua vs. Ngannou: Can the Underdog Shock the World?

By Michael Collins - 02/20/2024 - Comments

Underdog Francis Ngannou’s punching power gives him a shot at upsetting the more experienced former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua next month in their headliner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) has the advantage in experience, but the power of the former UFC champion Ngannou (0-1) gives him a chance of coming out victorious in their match on DAZN and Sky PPV.

The central question is whether Joshua can handle the punching power of Ngannou. If not, he’ll lose by knockout and it’ll put a heavy burden on his promoter Eddie Hearn to rebuild him again.

Ngannou’s X-Factor: Knockout Power

“Forget that Francis Ngannou is 0-1 as a boxer; the guy can fight,” said Spencer Oliver to talkSPORT Boxing channel, talking about next month’s clash between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou on March 8th.

“Stylistically, Ngannou really fancies this fight against Joshua because Joshua likes to come forward, and he’s one of those guys that likes to sit in the pocket. He’s a totally different person than Tyson Fury. Tyson Fury is very elusive; he’s awkward and difficult to pin down.”

It’s probable that Joshua will fight more cautiously against Ngannou than he did in his last fight against the light-hitting veteran Otto Wallin last December. Joshua can’t fight the same way against Ngannou, given the risk of getting caught with one of his left hook counters that he likes to throw.

Francis planted Fury on the canvas and would have knocked him out of if he didn’t play it safe after being dropped.

“With Joshua, you know what you’re getting. What you see is what you get. He comes forward, and it’s all one-dimensional, but it’s all very explosive. Stylistically, it suits Ngannou because what he proved against Fury is when Fury punched, Ngannou punched with him.

Questioning Joshua’s Resilience

“So, what he lacks for in speed, he made up for in timing,” said Spencer about Ngannou. “That’s a problem for Anthony Joshua because he likes to sit in the pocket. He’s very explosive. So, if Ngannou throws when Joshua throws, anything can happen. So, I think Ngannou really fancies the fight.”

“Ngannou said that he’d seen Fury get up from a big shot, and he kind of politically suggested that Joshua wouldn’t do that. We’d seen Joshua take big shots against Klitschko and dig himself out of the hole,” said Simon Jordan.

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