Francis Ngannou might get another huge name in his second trip to a professional boxing ring.
After Deontay Wilder’s surprise defeat to Joseph Parker late last month nixed a potential fight with Anthony Joshua, the Briton’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said that a trio of names are being floated for AJ’s next opponent in March — and one of them is former UFC heavyweight champion and current PFL star Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou, of course, came close to scoring what would have been the most seismic upset in boxing history last year when he came within a hair’s breadth of defeating Tyson Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. But while he didn’t have his hand raised (in spite of the opinions of many pundits), the performance signalled that he appeared at home in a boxing ring, and promised more paydays would be on the way.
And according to Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua could be next up.
“Right now, we have three fights that we’re in discussions for they’re all big and that doesn’t involve Deontay Wilder,” Hearn told iFL TV.
“Before March our aim, and we’ve discussed this, is to fight the winner of Fury versus Usyk. That is all we want to do. Obviously there’s a [Filip] Hrgovic fight out there for the world heavyweight title.
“There’s a Francis Ngannou fight out there which would be absolutely colossal. There’s other heavyweights as well, the [Zhilei] Zhang fight possibly as well with Queensbury. Our conversations right now are about mapping out Joshua’s next four or five fights. To map out his 2024 and potentially the rest of his career.
“A lot has to happen by March to make that possible with Hrgovic. Are Fury or Usyk going to be able to keep the belt, or do they have to let it go? Is Joshua going to replace [Otto] Wallin in the rankings? There’s a lot of discussion, maybe that’s a fight that when everything plays out could be one for the summer,” he said.