Boxing Meets Martial Arts: Francis Ngannou vs Anthony Joshua

Mixed martial arts star Francis Ngannou is making his second professional boxing bout in an epic fight with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. 

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Boxing Meets Martial Arts Francis Ngannou vs Anthony Joshua

Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is gearing up to face former UFC heavyweight titlist Francis Ngannou on Friday, March 8. The non-title bout will take place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This unique crossover has captivated the attention of fans from both boxing and MMA communities, making it a historic moment in combat sports.

Having faced setbacks in his boxing career, including losing his world titles, Joshua is on a mission to reclaim his status as one of the top heavyweights. The bout holds immense significance for him, as a victory would pave the way for another shot at a world title. 

Boxing Meets Martial Arts: Francis vs Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua beating Otto Wallin in his last fight in December (Image: Str/AP)

On the other hand, Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion and renowned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star, is making only his second professional boxing appearance, following a remarkable debut against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

In their initial clash, Ngannou exhibited extraordinary resilience against Fury, knocking him down and narrowly losing by split decision. The fight captured the attention of fans worldwide, making Ngannou’s transition from the octagon to the ring a monumental event.

Francis Ngannou would be open to a future UFC return ( Image: Zuffa LLC)

The stakes are high for both fighters. Joshua, looking to secure a future world title shot, cannot afford a defeat, while Ngannou aims to solidify his presence in both boxing and MMA’s upper echelons. The bout is not just a clash of fighters but a convergence of two combat sports.

Joshua is eagerly anticipating the challenge, stating,

Every fight leads to somewhere, so this fight is my everything; my soul, my spirit, my mind, my body. We’ll see where it leads me, right now, I’m not thinking about any championship belts, or anything. My main focus is Francis, realistically, it’s getting through an intense, focused training camp, because how I train is how I fight,”

Ngannou, confident in his abilities, shared his perspective, in a chat with DAZN,

“I asked for this fight. I watched him fight and then I made a tweet right away. Why? Because there was an opportunity and I know he was going to fight Deontay Wilder, and I saw an opportunity there. I made a tweet for this fight, I was calling for that fight.”

The fight will be aired in the U.S. on DAZN PPV, and in the U.K. on Sky Sports PPV. 

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