Ngannou’s Double Threat: Clinching Crunch and Precision Punches

By Michael Collins - 01/15/2024 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn is worried about Francis Ngannou’s powerful clinching and his counter-punching ahead of his headliner against Matchroom star Anthony Joshua on March 8th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ngannou worked Tyson Fury over on the inside, out-mauling him with ease, hammering him clubbing shots at point-blank range, and knocking him down with a counter.

Hearn doesn’t want Ngannou, a fighter with a limitless gas tank, to drain Joshua’s energy away by grappling with him.

While Joshua is certainly powerful, he gets tired so quickly, and he doesn’t recover for three to four rounds. If Ngannou can exhaust Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) with his mauling tactics, he will knock him out while he’s trying to recover.

Fury tried to maul Ngannou and found out the hard way that he’d met an unmovable force, a stone wall, who battered the chunky Gypsy King in close, taking away that central part of his game.

Without the ability to maul, Fury was forced to fight on the outside, throwing weak jabs and few power punches due to the dangerous counters that Ngannou was hitting him with.

The Clinch Crunch

“When you’re up in the clinch with this guy, you’re going to know about it,” said Eddie Hearn to TNT Sports Boxing, talking about Francis Ngannou.

Against Fury, Ngannou was grabbing him in a vice-like clinch, forcing him up against the ropes, tagging him with clubbing shots, and not letting him go. Fury was too weak to break the grip from Ngannou.

Although the 277 lb Fury outweighed Ngannou, a good 40 lbs of that size was pure fat and was no match for the power of the former UFC champion.

“You saw Tyson Fury in this fight just stay out of trouble and out of range. This is a guy in Fury who has a good chin. That’s what happens when you have someone that has the courage to throw with you,” Hearn said about Ngannou dropping Fury.

The Punishing Counter

“That’s the danger of Francis Ngannou. He will let his hands go when you let your hands go. Look at the Fury knockdown. He waited for Fury to throw, and that’s what Andy Ruiz did when he was hurt.

“You’ve got to be on point at all times against this guy. He’ll be looking to drag you to the inside and drag you into a dog fight; let his hands go. You’ve got to be so precise.

“The one thing that I kept seeing in that Tyson Fury is I was waiting for Francis Ngannou to gas. I thought at times it could happen, but Fury didn’t force the pace. But when you force the pace, you’re bringing an extra danger,” said Hearn.

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