Francis Ngannou Blames Anthony Joshua Defeat On Tiredness

Francis Ngannou gave a peculiar reason to explain his clinical second-round knockout defeat to former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (28-3, 25KOs). 

The Cameroonian MMA star posted a video on his Instagram account, explaining that he felt fatigued on the day of the fight against Joshua but refused to take any credit away from Joshua for his victory over him in the Saudi Arabian capital. 

“Leading up to that fight, it wasn’t my day,” Ngannou reflected. “I do not mean the result would have been different, but it wasn’t my day. At any moment of the day, I felt like I wasn’t good to go.

“Even in the locker room, trying to warm up, it wasn’t going well. I was falling asleep. I was sweating, but I was falling asleep. That’s why I took some time out for myself, some time to reflect on everything that happened to me.

“Heads up to Anthony Joshua, they did everything right. Heads up to my team, too. We did everything properly, but I didn’t execute the plan because I didn’t feel present.”

Ngannou is now expected to return to MMA, with PFL expecting him to feature under their promotional banner before the end of 2024. However, Ngannou has refused to rule out competing in boxing once he has recovered and enjoyed time away from training.  

“I am not done yet. The only thing missing here was time. I will take some time for myself to chill, then come back to training to get ready for another challenge.”

Many pundits and commentators held Ngannou in high esteem before his March 8 contest with Joshua in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

The former UFC heavyweight champion surpassed all expectations with his performance against Tyson Fury last October. Ngannou dropped WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24KOs) before being edged out on the judges’ scorecards, losing a narrow split decision. 

However, Joshua’s performance against Ngannou was a stark contrast to Fury’s ordeal with the Cameroonian five months prior. Joshua demonstrated his superiority, dropping Ngannou three times and ultimately making light work of the former MMA fighter.