Eddie Hearn has confirmed that he has reached out to Francis Ngannou to entertain a fight with his superstar heavyweight, Anthony Joshua.
Ngannou recently turned down a deal on the table from the UFC to stick around and defend his MMA heavyweight championship, instead opting to become a free agent and explore other options and sports.
Straightaway, his name was linked with some of the top heavyweights in boxing – inlcluding the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and, or course, Joshua.
Hearn, who has promoted ‘AJ’ since he turned pro said that he spoke to Ngannou last week, and revealed some of the details of that conversation to the MMA Hour.
“I think he’s an outstanding man. I always talk too much, and I don’t want to talk too much about what was said … I reached out to Francis just to say, look, I’m getting all these approaches from people – just tell me who I need to speak to. And the answer was ‘me.’ I really like that.”
“We would love to be involved in his career. The Anthony Joshua fight is probably one of the biggest fights that can be made across any kind of sport.”
“He’s going to have a lot of opportunities in boxing, it’s really down to himself about which opportunities he wants to take and who he trust to move forward. Because as I explained to him, in boxing, you can waste your time.”
With the prospect of a crossover super-fight, Hearn went into promoter mode. He said that he would advise Ngannou to jump straight into a big fight with Joshua if he was to advise him.
“I think he should fight Anthony Joshua.”
“The value really is the unknown. What happens when two titans from the world of fight sports collide? The UFC heavyweight world champion, Francis Ngannou, and the two-time world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua.”
“If he lands one on Anthony Joshua, is it the greatest upset of all time? Or AJ completely steamrolls him and you’ll see Francis Ngannou get knocked out.”
“This is not something I’ve discussed with Anthony Joshua. AJ’s desire is to become world heavyweight champion for the third time – also we understand that if there’s a one-off event to be promoted and there’s a chance for these guys to make a lot of money that they public are gonna go nuts for, we’re gonna look at that as well.”
“I don like the [Fury] fight for Ngannou as much because him and AJ would just go at it.”
With an April 1 date confirmed for Joshua to return, likely against Jermaine Franklin, the confidence from Hearn points to the Ngannou fight potentially being made straight after.