Knockout Chaos: Joshua vs. Ngannou in Riyadh -“A Heavyweight Showdown for the Ages”

By Michael Collins - 01/15/2024 - Comments

Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou “Knockout Chaos” kickoff press conference took place today for their March 8th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ngannou is seen as the underdog, but with the way he talked today, with a hungry look on his face, you can argue that Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, made a BIG mistake choosing him.

Hearn has been rebuilding Joshua for two years, trying to bring him back after his losses to Oleksandr Usyk, and he’s finally ready to match him with some talent. This could go badly for Joshua, showing he’s still the mentally fragile, shell-shocked fighter that Andy Ruiz Jr. destroyed.

Ngannou’s Perfect Timing

Hearn spoke about how it’s hard for him to believe that Ngannou can just stroll in and defeat the elite in the heavyweight division, but the top guys are showing age, and he’s catching them at the perfect time.

Joshua isn’t the fighter he once was, and neither of the 35-year-old Tyson Fury, who has one foot out the door in retirement.

The eleven-year veteran Joshua is coming off a stoppage win last December over Otto Wallin in Riyadh. AJ is now coming back to Saudi Arabia to show the boxing world that he’s the rightful #1 heavyweight in the division by making easy work of Ngannou, a fighter that everyone on the planet saw doing a number on Fury last October.

‘The Predator’ Ngannou looked like pure gold, battering Fury, beating him at his own game, clubbing him with powerful shots to the head when he attempted to maul, which has become his bread & butter style of fighting as he’s aged.

What Ngannou’s performance showed is that you don’t need to come from a boxing background to excel in the heavyweight division.

Just having massive punching power and size is all that’s needed, especially when you’re catching these guys when they’re old. Joshua is 34, Fury is 35, Oleksandr Usyk is 37, and Zhilei Zhang is 40. Those are the best heavyweights in the division today.

Joshua Laser-focused

“I will be ready to go once the first bell rings.” Insists the two-time former unified World Champion Joshua “ I will approach this mission with laser focus until the job is complete. I am looking forward to returning to Riyadh and I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the passion they have shown to myself and the sport of boxing.”

“Two incredible mountains. Francis Ngannou was talking, and I was thinking, ‘Look at the size of your head and your neck,'” said Eddie Hearn to TNT Sports, talking about today’s kickoff press conference for the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou event on March 8th.

“I turned to AJ, and I thought, ‘You actually look like a middleweight compared to this guy. It’s the first time that AJ ever competed with anybody in terms of frame and mass,” Hearn continued.

“This guy is bigger. We hear the stories about how strong he is. We hear the stories about how hard he can punch. I still find it difficult to subscribe to that you can just stroll into the sport and beat the elite, but he nearly did it against what many regard as the best heavyweight in the world [Tyson Fury].

“We take him very, very seriously. It’s a fight full of jeopardy, but if you use your brain, your skill, and your speed, I believe you should win. How do you break his [Ngannou] will when you know his backstory to what he went through to get where he is?

“This is a serious dude. When you talk about going through countries, through rivers, through seas to get to where he needs to be to achieve his dream,” Hearn said about Ngannou. “This is a man full of resilience, this is a man full of strength, and this is a man full of will.”

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