Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou: Tale of the Tape and how to watch ‘Knockout Chaos’

 | March 07 | 

3 mins read

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Anthony Joshua takes on Francis Ngannou this Friday March 8 on DAZN in a most unconventional heavyweight main event. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will play host to this battle of former heavyweight champions of the world. What sets this bout apart though is the combatants are former belt-holders in two different sports. 

Joshua is a two-time holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF boxing gold while Ngannou is an ex-UFC heavyweight champion who never lost that title in the Octagon. But the playing field is a lot less level here. Under boxing rules, Ngannou is a one-fight novice going against a veteran of the sport. It’s a position ‘The Predator’ has grown used to, having gone 10 rounds with WBC champion Tyson Fury on his debut.

Here’s everything you need to know about ‘Knockout Chaos’.

Joshua vs Ngannou Tips

  • Joshua by knockout @ 4/6
  • Joshua to win in rounds 7-8 @ 7/1

Joshua

Odds: 3/10

Place Of Birth: Watford, United Kingdom

Residence: Watford, United Kingdom

Age: 34

Alias: AJ

Record: 27-3 (24 KOs)

Height: 6’6” 

Reach: 82”

Stance: Orthodox

Last Fight: W RTD 5 Otto Wallin (December 2023)

Ngannou

Odds: 11/4

Place Of Birth: Batie, Cameroon

Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada

Age: 37

Alias: The Predator

Record: 0-1

Height: 6’4”

Reach: 83”

Stance: Orthodox

Last Fight: L SD10 Tyson Fury (October 2023)

The Lowdown

Joshua

The ultimate high-risk, low-reward fight for ‘AJ’. If he beats Ngannou, sceptics will say he defeated an MMA fighter who has never won in a boxing ring. If he loses, you can kiss future superfights, and possibly Joshua’s career as a whole, goodbye.

So why has the Olympic gold medalist taken this one on? The reported £39.5 million purse certainly doesn’t hurt. With Deontay Wilder having his aura eroded against Joseph Parker while Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight each other, there’s a solid argument that Ngannou was the biggest name available for Joshua. This fight keeps him in the spotlight and keeps the cash rolling in as he circles the winner of the undisputed heavyweight championship fight.

This fight won’t enhance his legacy much, though a better performance than Fury entered against Ngannou will at least provide an intriguing talking point. This eminently-winnable encounter also keeps Joshua’s fine recent momentum going. The Watford man can rack up a fourth consecutive victory should he prevail on Friday.

Ngannou

For the second time in succession, Ngannou has nothing to lose. Despite Fury beating him in his boxing debut, ‘The Predator’ emerged like a winner. His overall performance as well as the shock-knockdown he scored in the third round resulted in Ngannou being taken seriously as a boxer. The WBC even ranked him in the world top 10 in the aftermath.

But now Ngannou must lay down his difficult second album. More will be expected this time after he took arguably the best heavyweight in the world to the limit. Given the poor shape and performance of ‘The Gypsy King’, this might be a tough task. Joshua is less prone to under-preparation than the fluctuating Fury. 

In all likelihood, Ngannou’s meaningful boxing journey ends on Friday. Barring a miracle, he will lose to Anthony Joshua and return to MMA with a his bank account looking a lot healthier. Combat sports is a short and unforgiving career. Who can begrudge Ngannou a single penny?

How To Watch

Date: Friday March 8

Time: 16:00pm

Ring Walk (approx): 22:50pm

TV Channel: DAZN

Card

Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou; Heavyweight 

Zhilei Zhang vs Joseph Parker; For Zhang's WBO interim heavyweight title 

Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball; For Vargas' WBC featherweight title 

Gavin Gwynne vs. Mark Chamberlain; Lightweight 

Justis Huni vs. Kevin Lerena; Heavyweight 

Jack McGann vs. Louis Green; Light middleweight 

Roman Fury vs. Martin Svarc; Heavyweight 

Ziyad Almaayouf vs. Christian Lopez Flores; Super lightweight 

Andrii Novytski vs. Juan Torres; Heavyweight

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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