A former boxing world champion has been hugely impressed with what he has seen from novice ‘phenomenon’ Francis Ngannou.
By any yardstick, Ngannou has had an impressive year. The former UFC heavyweight champion had his first-ever professional boxing match back in October and did far better than anyone could have expected.
He put in a hugely competitive showing against Lineal and WBC champion Tyson Fury, knocked him down in the third, and stunned the world in the process despite coming out a split decision points loser.
The Cameroonian-Frenchman’s showing earned him another huge fight – this time against Anthony Joshua on March 8 on another big night of boxing in Saudi Arabia.
Ahead of that, former light heavyweight world champion Antonio Tarver has now spoken about Ngannou to Boxing King Media.
“That Tyson Fury and [Oleksandr] Usyk fight is one for the ages but also important is the AJ and Ngannou fight. That fight got me a little nervous considering Ngannou’s natural power.
“AJ doesn’t really take punches well, we know that, so this fight makes me concerned, when you look at AJ has everything to lose and Ngannou has everything to win, it’s really tough going into a fight like that.”
He was then asked if it was fair that Ngannou might get to face the winner of the undisputed fight should he beat Joshua.
“That’s really why Ngannou is in the ring anyway, why he was in with Tyson Fury and why he’s facing AJ. He’s a phenomenon man, something we haven’t seen in boxing forever.
“He could be 1 and 1 or 0 and 2 and be the richest 0 and 2 fighter in the sport. Like what the hell was I doing for the 23 years I was boxing? I got to take my hat off to him, and an athlete like that only comes across once in a lifetime.”