Ngannou: It's likely I'll be knocking Joshua down

Francis Ngannou talked up his chances against two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua ahead of their March 8 clash in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Ngannou impressed on his professional boxing debut last October against Tyson Fury, surpassing all expectations and losing a narrow decision despite dropping the WBC heavyweight world champion in the third round of a 10-round contest. 

Speaking on the MMA Hour, the Cameroonian insists he is improving as a boxer because he is only a beginner and believes the fight with Joshua is an easier task for himself after pushing Fury all the way in his narrow defeat, last year.

“No one still knows what I can do,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour. “That was my first fight in boxing. That was my first fight. As anyone, I’m just improving, and the gap of improvement for a beginner like me, it’s huge. I’m just a beginner improving.

“I think most likely [I’ll be] knocking Anthony Joshua out,” Ngannou said. “I think that he’s easier to go down than Fury. I mean, not that he’s not a strong fighter. He’s a very tough fighter, but he’s easier to send down than Fury, and it’s harder for him to get back up than Fury.”

Joshua improved and impressed throughout 2023 with three consecutive wins following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. Joshua beat Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius, and Otto Wallin.

Against Wallin in Riyadh last month, Joshua claimed victory after five rounds, with Wallin failing to come out of the corner at the beginning of the sixth. It was a much-improved performance with Joshua employing Ben Davison as the lead trainer for the preparations and developing a seemingly good working relationship. 

Ngannou was also impressed by Joshua’s performance against Wallin but questioned Wallin’s ability and desire to ask Joshua questions of himself. 

“He looked amazing. Congratulations to him. He was doing his job properly. His speed was there. He looked sharp – very sharp. But on the other hand, I think there wasn’t a response in front of him,” Ngannou added.

“I think I will have a better response in front of him that will put him not in such comfortable positions and situations. Things will change. Things will be different. I will not stand there and just look at him – no. It’s going to be different. I’m going to throw some bombs out there, and he’s going to be mindful of what he’s doing.”