Joshua in talks to face Ngannou
Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says he has held talks with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou over the prospect of fighting the British-Nigerian.
Ngannou is now the hottest prospect in the market after leaving the UFC, having failed to agree a contract extension and Joshua’s promoter wasted no time in reaching out to the heavyweight star, who was forced to vacate his title.
And the Matchroom Boxing chief is hoping Joshua beats Tyson Fury to the crossover super-fight with Ngannou.
“We’ll see what happens. For me, we would love to be involved with his career,” Hearn said on The MMA Hour.
“The Anthony Joshua fight is probably among the biggest fights that can be made in any sport. Obviously the Tyson Fury fight is there for him as well.
“I was pretty captivated by him. I’m not a massive MMA fan, but I still respect what he’s achieved there. But I just found him to be an outstanding gentleman. We’ll see how it goes.”
Hearn would rather Ngannou jumped straight into a blockbuster fight with Joshua as opposed to building his way up.
“I mean, I think he should fight Anthony Joshua. I don’t see — this is another conversation I had with Nate Diaz’s guys.
“These guys have a mountain to climb in terms of the challenge of fighting an elite boxer, but to go through the process of having two or three fights — one fight you might look bad because you’re learning, so the value really is the unknown,” Hearn said on The MMA Hour.
“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.
“The complete unknown. The unknown of how good is Francis Ngannou? We know he punches extremely hard, if he lands one on Anthony Joshua, is it the greatest upset of all time? Or will AJ completely steamroll him and you’ll see Francis Ngannou get knocked out? That’s the attraction of that fight, the unknown.
“So for me, if I’m representing Francis Ngannou, I want to make sure that this next move, I maximise every dollar that’s out there.
“He’s done the hard work, he’s done the years of hustle. He’s done the work to get himself in a position that he can move forward with what he wants to do,” Hearn said.