Prediction! Joshua Vs. Ngannou Full Fight Preview

With his hopes of facing Deontay Wilder thoroughly dashed, former Unified Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, instead looks to halt Francis Ngannou’s boxing invasion today (Fri., March 8, 2024) atop the latest pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of the “Fury vs. Ngannou”-led PPV main card right here later this afternoon. The PPV main card broadcast kicks off on DAZN at 1 p.m. ET (watch it here), while “AJ” and “The Predator” are expected to make their ring walks around 6 p.m. ET.

Knockout Chaos” also features a pair of title fights that see interim WBO Heavyweight champion, Zhang Zhilei, and WBC Featherweight champion, Rey Vargas, defend their respective belts against Joseph Parker and Nick Ball, as well as several other noteworthy fighters such as Gavin Gwynne and Justis Huni.

It’s the main event that’s got everyone buzzing, though, so let’s see how it’ll go down …

Knockout Chaos - Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou: Media Workout

THE FIGHT

Though I had Ngannou losing six rounds to Tyson Fury (watch highlights), the magnitude of his feat can’t be overstated. Regardless of whether you believe Fury under-prepared or took “The Predator” lightly, dropping and nearly upsetting the Heavyweight champion in a professional debut is legendary stuff.

I just don’t see this going nearly as well.

Fury’s game has a two distinct pieces: offbeat, unpredictable movement at-range and suffocating clinch work inside. Fury’s increased reliance on the latter gave Ngannou — a seasoned grappler and the rare Heavyweight who can match (or exceed) “The Gypsy King’s” strength — plenty of opportunities to sneak in clean shots without having to chase down Fury.

He’s going to have to work much harder to find his spots against Joshua. Though known for his knockout power, “AJ” is a very adept technician who knows how to play keep-away when the situation demands it. You’ll recall that after getting clipped in a furious exchange with Andy Ruiz Jr. in their first meeting (watch highlights), Joshua ran circles around him in their rematch.

Ngannou is a fair bit more dangerous than an overweight, under-trained “Destroyer,” of course, but we can’t let his unexpected success against Fury overshadow what kept him from actually pulling off the upset. Ngannou simply could not keep his offense going for all 10 rounds despite pushing a relatively sedate pace.

Against a mobile, well-conditioned boxer like Joshua — who will keep the jab in his face all evening — I can’t see Ngannou’s engine holding up.

The million-dollar question, of course, is whether Ngannou can starch Joshua before that becomes an issue. The thing is, I find Joshua’s career-long “chinny” label to be overblown. A truly fragile fighter would not have gotten up from the straight right that Wladimir Klitschko blasted him with in 2017. Heavy hitters like Dillian Whyte, Dominic Breazeale and Robert Helenius, among others, all failed to take Joshua off his feet. Heck, even the punch that scrambled him against Ruiz was a perfectly thrown counter that still needed follow-up to send Joshua to the canvas.

Ngannou can flatten any man on Earth in one shot, but he only managed to drop a demonstrably more knockdown-prone fighter in Fury once.

Fury’s singular style — or at least the more static variant of it that he’s employed of late — wound up playing into Ngannou’s strengths. Joshua’s more textbook approach will put Ngannou’s technical shortcomings front-and-center. In the end, patience, movement and steady output should carry Joshua to an increasingly one-sided decision.

Prediction: Joshua def. Ngannou via unanimous decision (-450)



LIVE! Stream ‘KNOCKOUT CHAOS’ On PPV

KNOCKOUT CHAOS! “Riyadh Season” concludes on Sat., March 9, 2024, as former unified Heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua, looks to halt the surprising rise of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, who shocked the combat sports world with a thrilling “Sweet Science” debut against Tyson Fury back in Oct. 2023. In the DAZN-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, interim WBO Heavyweight champion, Zhang Zhilei, will lock horns with professional spoiler, Joseph Parker — who torched Joshua’s long-awaited showdown against Deontay Wilder — in a pivotal showdown. The blockbuster high stakes pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza will stream live from Saudi Arabia on DAZN, as well as PPV.com, with a special late morning start time at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT with a PPV price tag of $69.99.

Don’t miss a single second of epic face-punching action!


For complete “Fury vs. Ngannou” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.

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