Can Francis Ngannou Beat Anthony Joshua?

Can Francis Ngannou Beat Anthony Joshua?  Boxing fans around the world are surely excited for the upcoming clash between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou and boxing heavyweight giant Anthony Joshua. The ten round fight takes place on March 8th in the Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Following on from the unpredictable yet captivating match-up between Ngannou and Tyson Fury (which proved to be anything but a joke fight), this bout again blurs the lines between MMA and boxing worlds as we all try to deduce who is likely to claim victory. But the million-dollar question remains: Can Francis Ngannou, with his MMA background, take down a world class boxing heavyweight like Anthony Joshua?

The Ngannou Effect

Francis Ngannou is not your average MMA fighter. Known for his devastating power and ferocious knockouts in the UFC, Ngannou has proven time and again that he’s a force to be reckoned with. His transition from the Octagon to the boxing ring could barely have started better. – if not for the judges deciding against him in a highly contested decision. The man carries immense one punch power. But boxing is a different beast. Precision, timing, and footwork play a much larger role than MMA, where skills on the canvas play a pivotal role also. So can Ngannou’s power combine with an ability to adapt to a new sport?

Against All Odds: The Tyson Fury Benchmark

Ngannou’s performance against Tyson Fury offers a glimpse of what the Cameroonian is capable of in a boxing ring. While direct comparisons are tricky due to the nature of their exhibition match, Ngannou’s ability to hold his own against Fury, one of boxing’s finest, is telling. It was a statement that an MMA fighter could step into the ring and not just survive but thrive. This performance has set a precedent, but Anthony Joshua is a different challenge altogether.

“I will do something that no-one has done before and I believe I have the tools to do that, starting with having the win over ‘AJ’ on March 8 in a big fight – not an easy fight, but a possible one and I am going to take it.” is The ‘Predator’s’ grounded yet positive take on the AJ fight.

 

Anthony Joshua: Last Chance Saloon

Anthony Joshua is no stranger to the spotlight. With a professional record that boasts significant victories (Wladimir Klitschko, Andy Ruiz Jr rematch) as well as setbacks (Oleksandr Usyk x 2), Joshua’s experience in high-stakes boxing matches is significant. Joshua, like Nnganou an orthodox fighter, has a record of 27 wins from 30 fights (24 wins by knockout). He’s 6ft 6 with a 82 inch reach. His power and resilience make him a formidable opponent for anyone, let alone someone transitioning from MMA. Possible shortcomings though include his mindset, questions over his stamina and also his patchy form. Many see this as a potential route back to becoming World Champion and his eye is certainly on the prize.

“Every fight leads to somewhere, so this fight is my everything; my soul, my spirit, my mind, my body.” says AJ, of the Ngannou bout.

If he loses though, especially against a ‘non boxer’ does he have anywhere left to go?

The Clash of Titans: What to Expect

6ft4 Ngannou brings serious punch power and an unquestionable fighting spirit. With a UFC record of 17-3-0 (12 wins by KO) and a 83 inch reach he certainly has the tools to do the job.  However, Joshua’s experience in the ring surely poses big challenges for Ngannou. Both fighters have different skillsets. Ngannou can close the distance as he did against Fury and unleash his one punch power, while Joshua will try to use his long reach and jab effectively, and exploit any openings. Let’s not forget AJ also has immense power.

Francis Ngannou taking on Anthony Joshua is a fascinating and curious chapter in combat sports. Ngannou’s performance against Tyson Fury has already shattered expectations, showing that with the right mindet and preparation, MMA fighters can make it in boxing despite having no background in the sport. However, overcoming a fighter with the experience of AJ requires not just power but also a winning strategy. At least that’s what the theory says anyway!

So who wins?

Can Francis Ngannou beat Anthony Joshua? The answer lies in preparation, followed by execution on the night of the fight. Ngannou’s power is definitely a significant factor, but Joshua’s boxing acumen presents a monumental challenge. As the fight night approaches, the fight fans will be watching, eager to witness history in the making. Bookmakers have AJ as the 1-4 favourite at time of writing, but if Ngannou defies expectations, it certainly wouldn’t be for the first time.

 

 

Why AJ vs Wilder in 2024 is closer than ever

Why AJ vs Wilder in 2024 is closer than ever  It’s not quite the present we were all hoping for this Christmas but it’s pretty damn close. On December 23rd in Riyadh Saudi Arabia both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will feature on the same card as anticipation continues to grow for their long-awaited encounter. Superfights failing to materialize is hardly a new trend when it comes to boxing but the past few years have been worse than usual and those frustrations began to simmer again in the aftermath of Tyson Fury’s clash with former UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. The Gypsy King’s underwhelming performance in the bout with the boxing newcomer left many thinking we would be left waiting even longer for a highly-sought after unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk. For the time being it seems those fears have been realized. Thankfully for boxing fans though, AJ and Wilder have stepped into the fold to stoke the fire once again and provide fresh hopes of a Heavyweight superfight coming sooner rather than later. There is still a job to be done in Riyadh however, and plenty of roadblocks to navigate before a pen is put to paper.

 

First up is AJ who will be taking on a tricky opponent in Otto Wallin. The 33-year-old Swede has not had many high-profile fights but is not to be underestimated with an impressive 26-1 record with 14 of those victories coming by way of knockout. Wallin is perhaps best known for giving Fury a scare back in 2019, opening up the WBC Heavyweight champion of the world just above the eye which required 47 stitches. The cut was so severe that there were genuine concerns the fight could have been called as Fury’s undefeated record was under serious jeopardy. Fury eventually won out with a unanimous decision but the Manchester born fighter had to dig deep to retain his crown. AJ will still arrive in Saudi Arabia on the 23rd the comfortable favourite but there have been question marks around the former two-time Heavyweight champion that suggest this will be no walk in the park. The 34-year-old from Watford has the better record at 26-3 with 23 knockouts but he failed to recapture the gold against Oleksandr Usyk and was less than convincing in his two most recent bouts against Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius. He clearly has ambitions of reinserting himself into the Heavyweight title picture and will need to drastically improve on recent outings if he is to do just that. Simply put, Wallin will test the Brit’s mettle and Joshua will have to be at the top of his game to overcome this stubborn Swede. For those fancying a bet on the fight, online bookies have AJ as the 2/7 favourite to win.

 

As for Joshua’s long-term rival he has a very different challenge on his hands. The Bronze Bomber has been as inactive as it gets in the fighting world with only four fights since 2020 and similarly concerning for his preparations heading into a potential mega fight with Joshua is his recent record. The former WBC Heavyweight champion’s record over the last six fights stands at 3-2-1 with his undefeated streak in tatters and the aura of invincibility a thing of the past. He needs a dominant win in Saudi Arabia to get back on track but it’s unlikely to be a walkover. Former WBO Heavyweight champion Joshua Parker is no slouch and has an impressive 33-3 record with good reason. The New Zealander has been erratic in years gone by but he comes into this bout with more recent fight experience and is more than capable of scoring an eye-catching stoppage or two with 23 knockouts under his belt. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that the 31-year-old will outbox Wilder for large parts of this fight and with the Alabama native coming in undercooked, maybe even the unthinkable knockout win is on the cards. The 38-year-old certainly has his work cut out but the fact is he still possesses the most powerful punch in the game and the onus will be on Parker avoiding a direct hit rather than Wilder getting the job done. The Bronze Bomber comes in as a 1/6 favourite and he will need to live up to that billing to set up an encounter with Joshua in the near future.

 

Both AJ and Wilder are on the comeback trail after definitively losing their titles to Usyk and Fury and both could do with a landmark victory to get them back in the title fight picture. Should they through December 23rd unscathed then expect sparks to fly in the post-match interviews with these two heavyweight juggernauts within arm’s reach. The chances of both fighters staring each other down with a face to face encounter in the aftermath of the event seem high and rest assured the clamour for Joshua vs Wilder will only intensify from there. For years the rival promoters have failed to manifest a monumental meeting between the two icons, but should they score the wins they need on The Day of Reckoning card, then all signs point to their titanic clash in 2024.

Big blow for boxing fans as Tyson Fury dismisses future fight with Anthony Joshua

Big blow for boxing fans as Tyson Fury dismisses future fight with Anthony Joshua  There was big news in the boxing world last month when an undisputed heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk was confirmed to finally take place.

The exact details for that blockbuster bout are yet to be made public as Fury prepared to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10-round, officially recognised matchup in Saudi Arabia on October 28.

However, the Gypsy King has suggested that he will be ready to trade blows with the Ukrainian two-weight world champion on December 23, despite that giving him less than two months to properly prepare for the bout.

Whenever and wherever it takes place, Fury vs Usyk is a fight with huge appeal. Both men will put their unbeaten records on the line in a bid to be crowned the king of the Blue Riband division, and it will be massive for the sport of boxing in its current state.

The boxing betting odds for Fury vs Usyk are in the Gypsy King’s favour as well, with the bookmakers making the Briton the heavy odds-on favourite at 2/5. His opponent, who currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring titles, is 7/4, while the draw is 14/1.

If the bookies have priced the fight correctly, and Fury does come out on top to unify the heavyweight division and extend his professional record to 35-1-0, then boxing fans had hoped the 35-year-old would move immediately on to another blockbuster encounter – against Anthony Joshua.

AJ’ suffered the second and third defeats of his career at the hands of Usyk, arguably tarnishing his status as one of the greatest heavyweights. However, Joshua isn’t giving up yet and is set to return to the ring to face Fury’s old opponent Deontay Wilder.

Joshua claimed at the United States Grand Prix in Austin that his fight against Wilder could take place on the undercard of Fury vs Usyk, which would make it an immense night of boxing. But, the Gypsy King ruled out the possibility of that happening and branded Joshua ‘embarrassing’ for suggesting it.

The mega-card not happening isn’t the only big blow Fury dealt boxing fans in the build-up to his fight with Ngannou, however. The Gypsy King also ruled out a future bout with Joshua, telling Sky Sports that both ‘AJ’ and Wilder are ‘out in the cold.’

“They’re both out in the cold and they’re both frozen so it doesn’t really matter,” he said when quizzed about facing the winner of the matchup.

While nobody would be bothered if Fury never faced Wilder again, given that the 35-year-old dominated their trilogy, it would be a crying shame should an all-British bout between the Gypsy King and Joshua never take place before the end of their respective careers.

A possible future fight for AJ could be Ngannou, with the Cameroonian claiming he would like to face Joshua after a second bout with Fury.

“I think we’re going to run it back for sure first, then maybe see Anthony Joshua,” he told Sky Sports.

 

How old is Derek Chisora?

How old is Derek Chisora?  Derek Chisora was born in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, on December 29, 1983 so, at the time of writing, he is 39 years old and just a month or so shy of his thirty-ninth birthday. A resident of Finchley, North London since the late nineties, it would be fair to say that, as a legitimate heavyweight contender, his star is on the wane. Chisora has challenged for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title once,  losing by unanimous decision to Vitali Klitschko at the Olympiahalle, Munich in December, 2012, and again to Tyson Fury in December 2022.

Nevertheless, Chisora is still well ranked in the world by the official record keeper, BoxRec, and has a record of 33-12-0, including 23 knockouts. Most recently, he beat Gerald Washington, at the O2 Arena, Greenwich on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua fight vs Robert Helenius fight, a fight AJ won by knockout.

Chisora was in the news in 2022 as the chosen opponent of undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Fury, who wass defending a 32-0-1 record, including 23 knockouts, initially mooted retirement after beating Dillian Whyte, courtesy of a sixth-round technical knockout, at Wembley Stadium in April, 2022. Subsequent fights against Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua failed to materialise, so Fury set his sights on a trilogy fight with Chisora.

The pair first met at Wembley Arena in July, 2011, with Fury winning by unanimous decision to take the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles. They met again, at the ExCel Arena, Dockland in November, 2014, with Chisora retired by his corner at the end of the tenth round. Ahead of their third meeting,  which was scheduled for December 3, 2022 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Fury insisted, ‘I see Chisora every bit as dangerous as Usyk.’ The bookmakers disagreed, making Chisora a 12/1 underdog, in places. After the fight it was easy to see why.

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