Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou rules: How many rounds and are knockouts allowed?

Here’s all you need to know about the crossover boxing match in Saudi Arabia

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 09 March 2024 00:20 GMT
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Francis Ngannou’s second boxing match marks the continuation of his remarkable arrival in the sport, as the ex-UFC champion fights Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia tonight.

In October, Ngannou made his boxing debut against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, knocking down the Briton before losing a hotly-disputed decision in Riyadh.

Now, the 37-year-old Cameroonian faces another Briton in “AJ”, a former two-time unified champion.

Joshua, 34, scored three wins from three fights in 2023, stopping Otto Wallin Riyadh in December to round out the year. He was expecting a bout with Deontay Wilder here, only for the American to scupper those plans by losing to Joseph Parker on the same night as AJ’s win over Wallin.

Here’s all you need to know. We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

When is the fight?

Joshua vs Ngannou is set to take place on Friday 8 March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event is expected to begin at 3pm GMT (7am PT, 9am CT, 10am ET), with ring walks for Joshua vs Ngannou likely to start at 11pm GMT (3pm PT, 5pm CT, 6pm ET).

How can I watch it?

Anthony Joshua, left, takes on Francis Ngannou on March 8 (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

The event will stream live on Dazn in the UK, US and worldwide, with Sky Sports also airing the action in the UK.

New Dazn viewers can purchase the fight card and a month’s free subscription for £19.99, while existing subscribers can buy the event for £18.99. Sky, meanwhile, has priced the event at £19.95.

A subscription to Dazn is available to purchase here.


Joshua – 2/9

Ngannou – 100/30

Draw – 16/1

Odds via Betway. Get all the latest boxing betting sites’ offers here.


Ngannou mocks Tyson Fury after knocking down the boxer (AFP via Getty Images)

Joshua vs Ngannou will be a standard professional boxing match. The fight is scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds. Each fighter can win via decision, knockout or TKO (technical knockout, e.g. the referee stops the bout, a towel is thrown in, or an injury halts the fight).

Each round will be scored using the 10-point ‘must’ system, meaning the winner of a round receives 10 points, while the loser gets 9 – unless they are knocked down or badly hurt, in which case they will receive 8 points, 7 or fewer, depending on the severity of the damage.

The same rules applied to Ngannou’s pro boxing debut in October, when he fought Fury, although the quirk in that bout was that the Briton’s WBC heavyweight title was not on the line.

Prize money

Joshua and Ngannou’s respective earnings for the fight have not been made public. A number of publications cited a Sports Business Journal article, which apparently reported that AJ will make $50m to Ngannou’s $20m – not factoring in pay-per-view points. However, the original article no longer lists specific figures. A Forbes article has endorsed the suggestion that those sums are accurate, however.

When Ngannou fought Fury in October, the Cameroonian earned $10m, according to Fury, whose friend Derek Chisora claimed that the “Gypsy King” made $50m.

Full card (subject to change)

Joseph Parker, who outpointed Deontay Wilder in December, will fight Zhilei Zhang (Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou (heavyweight)

Zhilei Zhang (C) vs Joseph Parker (WBO interim heavyweight title)

Rey Vargas (C) vs Nick Ball (WBC featherweight title)

Israel Madrimov vs Magomed Kurbanov (vacant WBA super-welterweight title)

Gavin Gwynne vs Mark Chamberlain (lightweight)

Justis Huni vs Kevin Lerena (heavyweight)

Jack McGann vs Louis Greene (super-welterweight)

Roman Fury vs Martin Svarc (cruiserweight)

Ziyad Almaayouf vs Christian Lopez Flores (super-lightweight)

Andrii Novytskyi vs Juan Torres (heavyweight)

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