Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will battle it out over ten rounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday March 8.
The former unified heavyweight champion scored three wins in 2023 after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.
Those victories – Jermaine Franklin on points and a stoppage over Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin – saw the Brit back to his best, and he was expected to face Filip Hrgovic next given it had a high chance of being for a vacant world title following Tyson Fury and Usyk’s undisputed bout.
Perhaps planning that for later in the year, or simply seeing the opportunity for a mega payday, ‘AJ’s team have instead struck a deal with Ngannou, who made his professional boxing debut just months ago.
That fight against Tyson Fury, despite being a split decision loss, saw the MMA man controversially rated the tenth best heavyweight in the world by the WBC. He dropped Fury in the third round and was a handful throughout.
The performance has landed him this shot against Joshua, something that has been discussed in the past. It will take place to cap off Riyadh Season – the entertainment festival that has already played host to his first bout as well as the Day of Reckoning card that featured Joshua’s win over Wallin and Deontay Wilder’s loss to Joseph Parker.
Ahh shit, here we go again.. 8/3/24 pic.twitter.com/qs5A7kdMPk
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) January 6, 2024
Having lost the opportunity to face Joshua, at least for now, Wilder is reportedly in talks to feature on the undercard, potentially against Zhilei Zhang.
More details are expected on the Friday night fight card at the official launch press conference on January 15.