Eddie Hearn has claimed that Anthony Joshua is ready to face Francis Ngannou on December 23.
The potential match-up between the two heavyweights is not one people expected would be talked about before Ngannou made his boxing debut against the Lineal and WBC champion Tyson Fury. However, the former MMA star put in such a solid showing across 10 rounds that he now has a target on his back.
His third-round knockdown of Fury, who was lacklustre throughout, sent shock waves around the world.
Even though Ngannou wasn’t able to capitalise and came out on the wrong end of a close split decision, he has the moral victory and is now seen as a legitimate contender at the world level.
Anthony Joshua is still in a rebuilding phase of his career after back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. That left Joshua without any of his belts and has come back with a steady points win over American Jermaine Franklyn in April then a knockout of Robert Helenius in August.
Speaking to Boxing News, Hearn was asked about whether his former two-time world champion would face Ngannou.
“We’d take that fight on December 23, no problem.”
“We’re looking at that date for Joshua anyway. Maybe I’ll reach out to them and say listen, if you’re looking for an opponent for Francis Ngannou, AJ’s ready, December 23, no problem at all. I’d like more time promotionally to make that fight what it is, one of the biggest fights out there, but no problem.”
At this point, it would be a fight that generated plenty of interest while Joshua manoeuvres his way back into world title contention.