Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou: British heavyweight and UFC icon sign deal for ten-round fight in Saudi Arabia

Ngannou is making a return to the ring to face another British heavyweight, Joshua, who successfully rebuilt his career in 2023 with three wins after losing his world titles and experiencing back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk. The news of the ten-round bout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was confirmed on Friday night after both fighters signed the deal.

Joshua’s promoter, Hearn, announced the showdown on social media, stating, “Tonight we confirm it’s a done deal! @anthonyjoshua v @francis_ngannou collide on a huge night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – press conference Jan 15 in London with full details dropping soon!” Another promoter, Frank Warren, expressed excitement about the historic night in Riyadh and promised more details on the press conference and fight date soon.

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The anticipated fight is scheduled for March 9, the original date set for Joshua vs Deontay Wilder. Initially, Joshua and Wilder had a deal to face each other on the Day of Reckoning card in Saudi Arabia on December 23. However, after Joshua’s impressive win over Otto Wallin and Wilder’s comprehensive defeat by Parker, the plans changed. Now, Joshua will face Ngannou in an intriguing match-up, following Ngannou’s impressive performance against Fury in October. Despite knocking down the ‘Gypsy King’ and receiving a favorable score from one judge, Ngannou lost in a split decision with debatable scorecards of 96-93 and 95-94 in favor of Fury.

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