Francis Ngannou has pledged to find out if Anthony Joshua can sustain his power when they meet in the boxing ring in Saudi Arabia on March 8.
The two came face-to-face in London on Monday around six weeks out from their fight in Riyadh, a fight which comes after Ngannou impressed the boxing community in his close split decision defeat to Tyson Fury in October. And while Ngannou felled the giant Gypsy King on that date, he says that he intends to go one better and land a blow on the Briton from which he will not be able to recover.
“I heard he doesn’t have a chin,” Ngannou said of Joshua at the press event. “I don’t know if it’s true or not. I hope I have the opportunity to test it out, that’s my wish.”
Joshua had been originally intended to fight Deontay Wilder at the March 8 event, but his surprise defeat to Joseph Parker on December 23 waylaid those plans, affording Ngannou another opportunity to prosper in a second combat sport — and Joshua said that while he has been in there with some of the fiercest punchers in the sport, he is aware that he will have to overcome Ngannou’s will if he is to prosper.
“His mind I have to conquer. You have to take someone’s soul, you have to take someone’s spirit. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
Joshua added to BBC Sport that Ngannou’s relative inexperience in the boxing ring isn’t necessarily an advantage for the two-time world champion ahead of their bout.
“He gave Fury an unbelievable fight,” Joshua said. “In three years of coming into boxing I became Olympic champion. In three years as a professional I became a world champion. You don’t have to have a whole heap of experience,” he added.