Anthony Joshua set to face Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua, the former unified heavyweight champion, will take on Francis Ngannou, the ex-UFC star, in a blockbuster boxing match in Saudi Arabia on March 9th.

The fight, which was confirmed by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, will be held at the same venue where Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 to reclaim his WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

Joshua, who has a record of 27 wins and three losses, is looking to bounce back from his unanimous decision defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last September, which cost him his belts and his chance to face Tyson Fury in an undisputed clash.

Ngannou, who has a record of 16 wins and four losses in MMA, made his professional boxing debut last October, when he gave Fury a scare in a controversial split decision loss in Riyadh.

The 37-year-old Ngannou, who stands at 6ft 5in and weighs around 260lbs, is known for his devastating knockout power and athleticism. He was the UFC heavyweight champion until he was dethroned by Ciryl Gane last August.

The fight between Joshua and Ngannou is expected to generate huge interest and revenue, as both men have large fan bases and crossover appeal. Hearn said that the fight was “a no-brainer” and that it would be “a spectacle for the ages”.

Joshua, who is 34 years old and stands at 6ft 6in and weighs around 240lbs, said that he was ready to face Ngannou and prove himself as one of the best heavyweights in the world.

“I’m excited to fight Ngannou. He’s a great fighter and a great challenge. He’s strong, fast and dangerous, but so am I. I’m not afraid of anyone. I want to show the world what I can do and become a three-time world champion,” Joshua said.

Ngannou, who was born in Cameroon and lives in France, said that he was confident of beating Joshua and making history as the first MMA fighter to win a boxing world title.

“I’m very happy to fight Joshua. He’s a legend and a warrior. He’s one of the best boxers of his generation, but I’m not impressed by him. I have the skills, the power and the heart to beat him. I’m going to shock the world and become the new heavyweight king,” Ngannou said.

The fight between Joshua and Ngannou will be broadcast live on DAZN in the UK and on ESPN+ in the US. The undercard will feature several other exciting bouts, including a rematch between Joseph Parker and Dillian Whyte for the WBC interim title.


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