The mind games have already begun between soon-to-be opponents Francis Ngannou and Anthony Joshua as the former MMA star has taunted the Brit about his punch resistance.
Ngannou is just weeks away from only his second-ever boxing match. It is scheduled for early March in Saudi Arabia and comes just a matter of months after he made his hugely impressive debut against the lineal and WBC champion Tyson Fury in October.
That fight saw him box well, stay out of trouble and inflict a knockdown on Fury in the third which has since had people talking about whether or not Fury is in decline.
Joshua meanwhile had a busy year with three wins, two inside the distance and one on points over 12 rounds. This contest is scheduled for 10 rounds though both men are notoriously big hitters so it could well not last that long.
Speaking to the MMA Hour, that is certainly what Congolese-Frenchman Ngannou is hinting at. Firstly, he responded to Eddie Hearn’s claims that the fight – which some think will earn both men eight figures – is easy money for Joshua.
“Eddie is a promoter, that’s a routine for him. He says the same thing all the time about everyone. That’s what he does. The day is set, it’s two months from now, and if any of them think it’s going to be easy money then too bad for them.”
Ngannou then taunted Joshua about his allegedly weak jaw.
“If AJ takes the punch that Fury took, I can’t guarantee he’s going to get up. I heard that he doesn’t have a chin. I’m going to find out. I really intend to hand him a loss.”
One thing is for sure, no one can doubt Ngannou’s toughness at taking on Fury and Joshua in his first ever two boxing matches.