Tim Bradley Respects Ngannou’s Wild Card Status for Joshua

By Jeff Sorby - 02/19/2024 - Comments

Boxing expert Tim Bradley says Francis Ngannous is coming into his March 8th clash with Anthony Joshua with a “chip on his shoulder” after what he felt should have been a victory over Tyson Fury last October in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Bradley feels that Ngannou will be improved for his fight against two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs), and with his power and unorthodox fighting style, he will be a threat to the 34-year-old.

AJ hasn’t fought anyone good since his consecutive defeats against Oleksandr Usyk, so it’s impossible to know if he’s improved. We know Joshua’s confidence has improved, but that might not mean anything if his chin is still as weak as water.

Once Ngannou taps Joshua’s chin, he could revert to what we saw from him in his first fight against Andy Ruiz Jr. in his clash against an old Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

Joshua’s Activity vs. Ngannou’s Raw Power

“I respect Ngannou. I spoke to a couple of his sparring partners. They say he’s looking better and better. He’s looking a lot more comfortable in the ring,” said Tim Bradley to ProBox TV, talking about next month’s fight between Francis Nganou and Anthony Joshua.

Most boxing fans believe Joshua will play it safe, jabbing, moving, and tying up Ngannou throughout the fight to thwart his attempts at landing his power shots. It’s expected that Joshua will revert to the Klitschko style he successfully adopted for his rematch with Ruiz in December 2019 and make it a dull fight.

“He’s confident. He thought he beat Fury, so he’s coming in with a little bit of an edge and probably a chip on his shoulder. AJ has definitely been hot, and he’s been busy and been active,” said Bradley.

Unorthodox and Dangerous

“The activity has shown in the increase in his skillset and also in his mentality. This is going to be a hell of a fight. You can never count out a puncher, especially a puncher that is a bit off rhythm a bit. It’s hard to fight a guy that doesn’t do things normal,” said Bradley about Ngannou.

Francis landed a lot of heavy left hooks on the lantern jaw of Tyson Fury last October, dropping him and having him gunshy in the championship rounds.

Most boxing fans believe Ngannou was given a raw deal by the judges, who gave it to the star, Fury, due to his popularity. Ngannou showed that he was a better fighter than Fury, who looked like a 60-year-old inside the ring that night and not the guy he once was during the height of his career in 2015.

“He does things that are not traditional, and that’s Ngannou. If Ngannou punches with AJ, that’s when things are going to get scary,” said Bradley. “If you go back and watch AJ against Ruiz, Ruiz was able to punch with him. He was able to catch him high on the temple, and you saw what Ortiz was able to do.

A Safer Path to Victory

“A big puncher like Ngannou, you have to respect him. If AJ trades with this guy, that’s where things get a little iffy and dangerous. But if he can stay outside, use his jab, and outbox Ngannou, then he should be able to win on the scorecards quite easily,” said Bradley about Joshua.

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