Performance against Fury gives Ngannou confidence ahead of Joshua fight

March 7, 2024 3:41 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Francis Ngannou said his strong showing in his pro boxing debut against Tyson Fury has given him confidence ahead of his bout against British heavyweight Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou, who will fight Joshua at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena, made his debut in October, losing via split decision to WBC world champion Fury in a non-title bout.

The Cameroonian-French fighter almost delivered an upset when he dropped Fury to the canvas with a left hook in that fight.

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“I feel confident enough, based on my training, the hard work that I put in. I think on Friday night I’m going to have the reward for the work I put in,” Ngannou told reporters on Wednesday.

“It (fight against Fury) was a good experience and it definitely guided me better to have proper training. I cannot account exactly how much confidence it gives me, but it does set the temperature of the water.

“Every space I have open, I am going to hit… I am not going to leave any stone unturned and any opportunity unexplored.”
Ngannou, who has a 17-3 mixed martial arts record with 12 victories by knockout, will once again be the underdog when he faces two-time world heavyweight champion Joshua, but the Briton said he would not make the mistake of underestimating his less-experienced opponent.

“He’s been boxing. His first dream was to be a boxer, which people forget. He was part of the Cameroonian team,” Joshua told reporters.

“He’s been doing it from a young age. His dream was always to be a boxer. I know what I am up against, I look at all of these small details. I spar, I do my film study, all that type of stuff.”