Promotions

Anthony Joshua to face Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia in March as fight confirmed

Andy Scott, Gary Logan and Jane Couch discuss whether Francis Ngannou knocking down Tyson Fury was the biggest shock in 2023

Anthony Joshua’s next opponent has been confirmed as former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou with the fight set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March; press conference on January 15 with more details on fight to follow.

Anthony Joshua is set to fight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.

Former unified world heavyweight champion Joshua is expected to share the ring with Ngannou, a former UFC champion, after the planned fight was announced by promotional teams Matchroom and Queensberry on Friday night.

A press conference has been scheduled on January 15 to reveal more details, with reports suggesting that Joshua will face Ngannou on Friday March 8 in Riyadh.

Deontay Wilder could feature on the same bill, despite his points loss to Joseph Parker in December which ended hopes of the American fighting Joshua on that date.

Deontay Wilder could also appear on the Joshua vs Ngannou bill Zhilei Zhang’s team have confirmed that talks are being held over a proposed bout against Wilder.

“The fight is being explored,” Zhang’s co-manager told.

“We would love for it to happen.”

Joshua produced a ruthless fifth round stoppage of Otto Wallin in December, sealing his third straight victory last year.

Speaking after his impressive win against Wallin, Joshua declared: “I’m down to fight anyone. Whenever and whoever.”

Filip Hrgovic, the IBF mandatory challenger, and Zhang were also considered as potential opponents for Joshua’s next fight.

Ngannou sensationally floored Fury in a points defeat in October Ngannou sensationally knocked down Tyson Fury in his first professional boxing bout last October, but Fury emerged with a hotly debated points victory in Riyadh.

The WBC installed Ngannou in their top 10 of title contenders following his creditable defeat.

Saudi Arabia will again stage a major heavyweight fight, just weeks after Fury takes on Oleksandr Usyk in an undisputed world title fight on February 17.

‘Ngannou a good fight for AJ’

Reacting to the news of the fight on Back Pages Tonight, The Sun’s Charlie Wyett said: “I think so [that it’s the right opponent]

“He was obviously hoping it was going to be Deontay Wilder but because of what happened with his fight [against Parker] they have lined this opponent up. It’s a process that’s going to take a while.

“It’s a good fight for him [Joshua], with the press conference in a few days’ time.

“I think that’s one thing we’re going to have to get used to now for many years to come that all these fights are going to be in Saudi Arabia now.

“But it’s not a surprise that they’ve fixed up a fight for around that time.”