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Fury and Joshua could be set for showdown after bouts with Usyk and Ngannou

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou face off during the Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou Press Conference at Outernet London on January 15, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou face off during the Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou Press Conference at Outernet London on January 15, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua will fight former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia in March to set up a possible undisputed fight with Tyson Fury.

This comes despite the 34-year-old Brit’s camp previously calling a potential bout with Ngannou, born in Cameroon, as a “gimmick fight”.

But at the face off yesterday top official, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, stated his desire for the winner of the fight to take on either Fury or Oleksandr Usyk – who fight next month – in an undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO bout.

The 37-year-old MMA fighter Ngannou knocked Fury to the canvas in his debut in October and will take on Joshua on 8 March.

The original plan would have seen Joshua take on Deontay Wilder over the same period but the American was defeated by Joseph Parker at the end of 2023.

“This is the first time in AJ’s career he’s fighting anyone of equal size or someone bigger than him in terms of mass and size,” promoter Eddie Hearn said at the face off.

“This is not going to be easy and the worst thing is that I thought the Fury versus Ngannou fight was going to be a mismatch but how wrong was I?

“And then I started spinning my mouth off saying Joshua will deal with him in three rounds but so much of elite level sport is in the mind and this guy is a serious dude.

“This is not someone who thinks he’s coming in for the payday with the carrot dangled by His Excellency of the winner fighting [Fury or Usyk] for the undisputed championship.”

Joshua vs Ngannou undercard

  • Zhilei Zhang vs Joseph Parker

  • Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball

  • Mark Chamberlain vs Gavin Gwynne

  • Justis Huni vs Opponent TBC

  • Ziyad Almaayouf vs Opponent TBC

  • Roman Fury vs Opponent TBC

  • Jack McGann vs Opponent TBC