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Anthony Joshua to fight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua to fight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia
© Reuters
Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and ex-UFC fighter Francis Ngannou agree terms to fight in Saudi Arabia in the spring.

Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and ex-UFC fighter Francis Ngannou have agreed terms to fight in Saudi Arabia.

On December 23, Joshua and Deontay Wilder had been scheduled to confirm a mega-fight between the pair should they both win their respective bouts on that evening.

While Joshua stopped Otto Wallin in five rounds, Wilder was comprehensively outclassed by Joseph Parker, leading to Joshua's team Matchroom Sport to go back to the drawing board.

A clash with Filip Hrgovic for the soon-to-be vacant IBF title looked the most likely outcome on March 9 - the date that had been pencilled in for the Wilder clash.

Instead, on a date yet to be confirmed, Joshua will go up against Ngannou, who recently floored WBC champion Tyson Fury before being edged out on points.

As it was with Fury, the fight will be a 10-round boxing match, with the bout due to take place in Riyadh with full details being confirmed next week.

The development is another significant boost for the sport with Saudi Arabia also hosting the undisputed world heavyweight title fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on February 17.

Matchroom's hope will be that Joshua can produce a better performance against Ngannou than Fury did after Ngannou dramatically floored him in the third round of a fight where he had other major moments.

Ngannou - the former UFC heavyweight champion - exceeded everyone's expectations, aside from his own, with a performance that stunned the world of boxing, and the 37-year-old will now have another chance to further cement his legacy.

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Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder at a press conference on November 15, 2023.
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