Joe Joyce reveals danger for Anthony Joshua after sparring Francis Ngannou

Joshua takes on the former UFC star in Saudi Arabia on Friday 8 March

Sports Staff
Thursday 29 February 2024 09:55 GMT
Anthony Joshua (centre left) faces off with Francis Ngannou
Anthony Joshua (centre left) faces off with Francis Ngannou (Getty Images)

Joe Joyce has warned Anthony Joshua to be ready for the “wild card” Francis Ngannou when the pair meet in an eagerly-anticipated clash.

The former UFC heavyweight world champion will take on the British boxer in Saudi Arabia on Friday 8 March after an impressive debut in professional boxing against Tyson Fury in October.

The reigning WBC champion was pushed hard by the Cameroonian fighter, winning narrowly in a split decision.

Ngannou, who holds a 17-3 record as a mixed martial artist, will now continue his boxing career by taking on another of the world’s top heavyweights in Joshua.

And highlighting his punching power, Joyce — who sparred with Ngannou in 2020 — warned his fellow Brit to be ready for a proper challenge.

“Because he’s an MMA fighter and he’s not really been concentrating on boxing, he was a little bit more open and I could kind of see where the shots were coming from, move out the way and keep him on the jab,” Joyce explained to Sky Sports. “But [his] power shots were whistling past my abs and my chin in the process!

Joe Joyce has told Anthony Joshua that he must be ready for Francis Ngannou’s power game (PA Archive)

“We had a really good spar and I’ve got a lot of respect for Ngannou. If he lands one of those big shots like he hit Fury with then I don’t think Joshua’s going to get up from that.

“He boxed really well against Fury. It’s an amazing story. Reached the heights of UFC and then challenged arguably the best in Tyson Fury and gave him a run for his money. He’s a bit of a wild card.”

Joshua is hoping to continue a three-fight winning run as he bids to build back to his best after back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk, who takes on Fury on 18 May.

The 34-year-old Londoner beat Otto Wallin in his last bout in Riyadh in December.

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