Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will face off in a ten-round heavyweight bout on March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The announcement comes after Joshua’s impressive stoppage of Otto Wallin and Ngannou’s better-than-expected showing against Tyson Fury.
Although he ultimately lost on a split decision, the MMA man’s stock rose on his professional debut after he knocked Fury down in the third round and made it the full distance.
As such, Carl Froch believes Joshua could struggle.
“My initial thoughts are it’s not a bad fight. It’s a fight that Anthony Joshua could potentially struggle with. We saw [Ngannou] against Tyson Fury and Tyson Fury struggled. Was that because Ngannou is really good or Fury didn’t quite turn up? I think the latter … but Ngannou was tidy.”
“It’s a fight I’m looking forward to if I’m totally honest. It’s a fight I could get excited about. I’m just not sure that it should be happening, because Anthony Joshua wants to become a three-time heavyweight champion. But where’s the title?
As to who else he would like to see Joshua fight as he waits for Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to settle their undisputed affair, Froch named two top contenders in Filip Hrgovic – who was previously thought to be the frontrunner – and Zhilei Zhang.
“The Hrgovic fight’s big – that could potentially be for the IBF title – the Zhilei Zhang fight, that’s a fight I want to see Anthony Joshua in. We’re getting further and further away from these fights happening if he jumps in there with Ngannou.”
Finally, though he’ll tune in, the former super-middleweight champion turned Hall of Famer believes it’s not good for the heavyweight division.
“This fight is gonna be acceptable because Ngannou did so well against Fury, but let’s be honest, this is a cash grab out in Saudi Arabia, and I don’t think it’s good for heavyweight boxing.”
The undercard for the fight is expected to follow suit with the previous Riyadh Season events, and could even feature Deontay Wilder versus Zhang.