Anthony Joshua will bid to follow in Tyson Fury’s footsteps when he faces former UFC star Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia next month.
AJ is in the process of rebuilding his career after losing his world titles and comes into 2024 off the back of a three-fight win streak.
Fury and Usyk were set to be involved in an undisputed showdown before Joshua returned to the ring.
Meanwhile, former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou will be appearing in only his second-ever professional boxing bout.
Joshua vs Ngannou: Date and start time
This 10-round heavyweight clash is slated to go ahead on Friday, March 8.
It is taking place on a Friday due to the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit also being held that weekend.
The boxing action is once again scheduled to take place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – the location for Joshua’s win over Wallin, and Ngannou’s defeat to Fury.
Timings for this event are yet to be confirmed but the undercard action is expected to start around 7pm UK time.
The ring-walks for the main event can then be expected from 11pm.
talkSPORT will be bang across fight week with live updates on fight night while talkSPORT.com will be running a live blog as well.
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Joshua vs Ngannou: Undercard
More to follow
- MAIN EVENT: Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou
- Zhilei Zhang vs Joseph Parker – for WBO interim heavyweight title
- Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball – for WBC featherweight title
- Mark Chamberlain vs Gavin Gwynne
- Justis Huni vs TBA
- Ziyad Almaayouf vs TBA
- Roman Fury vs TBA
- Jack McGann vs TBA
Joshua vs Ngannou: What has been said?
Ngannou wants a shot at all the belts immediately now that Fury vs Usyk has been postponed.
Reacting to the postponement of Fury vs Usyk, Ngannou posted a viral meme of a man stood awkwardly with his hands in his pockets and wrote: “So me and Joshua for the undisputed title March 8?”
As for Joshua, the two-time heavyweight champion has been told he cannot underestimate Ngannou by Joshua Buatsi.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT.com, Buatsi, who trained closely with Joshua when previously signed to his management company, was asked whether facing Ngannou is the right choice.
To which he said: “Yeah, why not? I think to summarise it, whoever he faces, I will always say Joshua will win.
“I’m biased like that, I’m not going to lie about it.”
Pressed on whether Ngannou poses a threat with his power, Buatsi remarked: “Of course there is.
“Look what he did to Fury! He showed us that he can box.
“Because I thought originally, he’s going to start quick and then just gas out and have no idea what to do.
“But the three-minute rounds, he was able to do it.
“In the UFC they have three, five-minute rounds, so I thought that system might have got to him.
“But not at all, he was impressive, very impressive.”
Joshua v Ngannou: Betting Odds
Anthony Joshua – 1/5
Draw – 20/1
Francis Ngannou – 10/3
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