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All you need to know about Joshua vs Ngannou as Saudi Arabia hosts huge event

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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.

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Joshua is hoping to continue his momentum in 2024

The Brit continued his recovery from suffering successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk by knocking out Otto Wallin in December.

Joshua had been set to face Deontay Wilder next, but the Bronze Bomber’s defeat to Joseph Parker on the same night has seen him pivot to another one of Fury’s conquests instead.

Fury and Usyk were set to be involved in an undisputed showdown before Joshua returned to the ring.

However, that fight has been pushed back until May meaning AJ will need to keep himself in contention to either fight the victor or step in as a replacement if the undisputed bout is postponed again.

Meanwhile, former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou will be appearing in only his second-ever professional boxing bout.

The Predator stunned the world on his debut when he floored Fury last October, although the WBC heavyweight world champion ultimately won via split decision.

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.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

The action will also be broadcast on DAZN PPV with details around the price and coverage start time to follow in due course.

Fury was well below par against Ngannou

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Fury was well below par against NgannouCredit: Getty

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.”

Ngannou cheekily suggested his fight with Joshua should be for the undisputed titles

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Ngannou cheekily suggested his fight with Joshua should be for the undisputed titlesCredit: X

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

See all Boxing betting odds at talkSPORT BET

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