Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will fight former WBA/WBO/IBF unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a 10-round boxing match date to be decided in 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani broke the news on Friday via Twitter. This would be the second big money fight in Ngannou’s young boxing career.
Ngannou who was highly criticized by his former boss and UFC head honcho Dana White as fumbling the bag because he refused to resign with the UFC and decided to test free agency instead. White believed Ngannou was making a big mistake not staying with the UFC and didn’t believe he would be able to get a more lucrative deal elsewhere. One of the main reasons Ngannou decided not to resign with the UFC was over his desire to seek a big money boxing match with Tyson Fury and Dana White wasn’t on board with the idea.
The UFC allowed their biggest star Conor McGregor to crossover to boxing and challenge Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match that earned McGregor his biggest purse of his career close to $100 million for his pro boxing debut. The Mayweather vs. McGregor fight also sold over 4 million pay-per-view buys.
In the end the Cameroonian knockout artist had the last laugh, he secured a contract with the PFL (Professional Fighters League) and landed a massive payday in boxing against undefeated WBC champion Tyson Fury. The PFL had no issue with Ngannou’s desire to box and fully supported the idea.
Ngannou was a heavy 20-1 underdog heading into the October 28th boxing match with Tyson Fury, but he shocked the world when he dropped Fury and outboxed him at points during the fight. In the end Ngannou would lose a controversial decision to the undefeated Gypsy King. Many fans and viewers were shocked that an MMA fighter could do what he did to the slickest heavyweight boxer today, a good amount of fans even had him winning over Fury and cried robbery.
Anthony Joshua just beat Swedish contender Otto Wallin by sixth round stoppage on December 23rd, Wallin was best known for giving Tyson Fury his toughest fight and Joshua made it look easy. The British boxing star had one of his best performances in years, and now he heads into the ring to take on another opponent who gave Tyson Fury trouble.
Joshua vs. Ngannou will take place in Saudi Arabia and a press conference to officially announce the fight will be held on January 15, 2024.
Muki is a long time boxing fan and enjoys Mixed Martial Arts. He has been writing boxing articles since he was a teen and his favorite fighters of the past are Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Prince Naseem Hamed. Favorite MMA fighters are Khabib Nurmagomedov, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva and Fedor Emelianenko.