The heavyweight clash between former champion Anthony Joshua and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been slated for Friday, March 8. News of the fight initially started as a rumor, but it seems now that deals have been finalized, and the fight is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia.
Anthony Joshua enters the fight barely three months after handing Otto Wallin a fifth-round knockout defeat. The 34-year-old has enjoyed wins since losing twice to Oleksandr Usyk, and he seems pretty optimistic and confident ahead of his upcoming fight against Ngannou.
Ngannou has taken a pause from MMA now to focus on boxing. The March 8 fixture will be his second professional boxing match after a controversial loss to Tyson Fury last year. The Cameroonian is determined to prove that he has what it takes to challenge some of the biggest names in the boxing heavyweight division, and as he prepares for Joshua, The Predator is aiming for a win.
To sweeten the deal of this match, the winner is expected to face the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk to become the new undisputed heavyweight champion. Initially, Joshua was to face Deontay Wilder if the latter had won his fixture last December, and the winner of their fight will challenge either Usyk or Fury. But it seems even without Wilder, the plan will carry on.
Fury and Usyk will meet in February, with all the belts in the heavyweight division going to the winner of the fight, giving us the first undisputed heavyweight champion in decades. Word of a possible fight between the winners of the two fights was given by promoter Frank Warren, although there is no official confirmation to the matter.
Warren said: “For the winner, the big fight is happening on February 17, with Tyson and Usyk. The winner of that – would we like to see them with the winner of this fight? Everybody in boxing would love to see that.
“So everybody has got something to aim for. It’s a huge moment of excitement for boxing.”
Whether or not that fight happens remains to be seen, but for now, boxing fans worldwide are stoked over the quality of fixtures we are about to witness in the heavyweight division in the coming weeks.