While Francis Ngannou said he was impressed by Anthony Joshua’s shellacking of Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia before Christmas, he predicts that ‘AJ’ is in for an entirely different test in their own boxing match in March.
It was confirmed last weekend that the two former champions of their respective sports — both of whom possess concussive power in their hands — will throw down in Saudi Arabia in March. The fight will be Ngannou’s second professional boxing bout, and comes months after his razor-thin split decision loss to Tyson Fury.
And like in that fight, Ngannou says he is aware of the scale of the task awaiting him — but adds that he will be more than ready for the test.
“He looked amazing,” Ngannous told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour of Joshua’s win against Wallin. “Respect to him, congratulations to him.
“He was doing his job properly, his speed there, everything,” the former UFC champion added. “He was sharp, very sharp. But on the other hand, I think there wasn’t a response in front of him. I think I will have a better response in front of him that will put him not in such a comfortable position.
“Things will change. It’s going to be different. I will not just stay there and look at him. It’s going to be different. I’m going to throw some bombs out there for him to deal with. I think he’s going to be mindful of what he’s doing.”
And if one of those bombs lands, Ngannou is curious to see exactly how Joshua might deal with it: “If AJ takes the punch that Fury took, I don’t guarantee that he’s standing up. I’ve heard that he doesn’t have a chin. I’m going to find out.”
Joshua has been defeated by knockout just once in his career, against Andy Ruiz Jr back in June 2019. By comparison, the Briton has won 24 bouts by KO.