Knockout Chaos: Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Friday, March 8th
10:00AM cst
Matchroom Boxing & Queensbury Promotions

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou - Heavyweight

Anthony Joshua (27-3-0, 24KOs) and Francis Ngannou(0-1-0) meet in Riyadh in what feels like a fever dream of a matchup.

In October of last year former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou became a professional boxer for the first time against WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Though Ngannou came up short, he was able to knock Fury down and show that he has real skill in the sport. Suddenly the thought of Nagannou becoming a force in heavyweight boxing became a real possibility.

At that time, AJ had just knocked out Robert Helenius on his second comeback fight after the rematch with Usyk, and was about to face Otto Wallin on his way to the much anticipated Wilder fight. Since then, Aj clobbered Wallin in what some called a “vintage AJ performance”, Wilder lost on that same card to Joseph Parker taking that match-up off the table. Tyson Fury signed to face unified champ Usyk to become undisputed, pulled out due to injury, and signed up to face him again at a later date.

Since all the belts are held by Usyk and Fury, and we’re still waiting to find out what happens there, Aj’s prospective pool of opponents opened up and Ngannou jumped straight into the deep end. A year ago this would have sounded crazy, but the matchup has enough meat on the bone to be truly exciting.

Aj showed that he still has fire in his belly and is still a ferocious puncher. That’s not to say anything of his skill in the ring, which in-and-of itself sets him apart and makes him very difficult to beat. Ngannou showed that he does possess the ring IQ to, at the very least, hang with the best of them, and it’s almost a given that he has enough raw power in his hands to knock any man on earth down, if not out. There’s very little doubt among boxing fans that AJ holds the skill advantage by a large margin and is the likely favorite, but Nagnnou has shown that anything is truly possible when his destiny is placed in his own hands


Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang vs Joseph Parker Heavyweight (WBO Interim)

After facing and defeating what is likely the most dangerous right hand in heavyweight boxing history in Deontay WIlder, New Zealand native and former champion, Joseph Parker (34-3-0, 23KOS) once again runs straight towards danger, fitting his reputation, and is taking on a skillful operator with heavy hands of his own in Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21KOS)

Zhang’s most recent outings have been his two fights against Joe Joyce, a rising contender with an uncrackable chin. Zhang fought him to a TKO in the first match, damaging his eye badly, and ended up cracking that uncrackable chin in the rematch and knocked Joyce “spark out” as the brits say.

To me, this is the most interesting matchup on the card. Parker has been on a run lately and has always been a difficult out for anyone, and the same goes for Zhang. Both have heavyweight power, both have great chins, both have a subtle skill and ring-smarts to them that makes it possible for either to win on points, and both are in a position to get a chance at the belts very soon if they come out of this one victorious, adding even more import and motivation. Parker has the speed advantage and is the younger fighter at 32 to Zhang’s 40, but the size advantage goes to Zhang, typically outweighing Parker by about 50lbs and measuring in at a couple inches taller.

Whichever way it goes the winner will, without a doubt, be the boxing fans that tuned in to see it.


Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball -Featherweight(WBC World)

Rey Vargas (36-1-0, 22KOS) may not be a household name, but he’s been a champion at one weight class or another since 2017. First at super bantam, where he defended his WBC title 5 times, then at featherweight where he became the WBC world champion in his second weight class by defeating Mark Magsayo in a split decision after being dropped in the 9th. His only loss so far was going up to super-featherweight to fight Oshaquie Foster in an attempt to pick up the vacant WBC belt there. Vargas’ campaign at super-featherweight was short-lived and he is now back at featherweight to defend his title against U.k.’s up and comer, Nick Ball (19-0-0, 11KOS).

Nick Ball has been on quite a run in the english circuit and most recently came out victorious against former world champion Isaac Dogboe, preparing him to leave his home country for the first time to try and go for a world title of his own in Riyadh.

The size difference between these two fighters is astounding, and will likely provide difficulty for both in opposite ways. Vargas is a very tall featherweight at a reported 5’7.5” whereas Nick Ball’s “official” height is 5’2”. Vargas does use the reach advantage he almost always has, but usually ends up fighting more on the inside and at mid-range as the fight wears on. Ball is almost exclusively an inside fighter due to his stature, but the sheer difference between them will likely make for some interesting adjustments by both men. 

Vargas is much more seasoned in the game as his record would suggest, but since he is coming off of a loss to Foster, the momentum leans slightly towards the ascending Ball. It’s a perfect match to lead into the double heavyweight knockout chaos that will come after.


Roman Fury vs Martin Svarc -Cruiserweight

As one may have guessed, Roman Fury (3-0-0, 1KO) is the younger brother of Tyson and Tommy Fury. Having now won three in a row, even knocking out his most recent opponent, he’s ready to take on his first undefeated foe, Martin Svarc (2-0-0, 1KO), who is doing the same at two victories and no losses of his own. This will be both fighters first time against someone with a winning record, as well as each of their first times fighting outside of their home countries, Fury being from the U.K and Svarc being from the Czech Republic. There’s no telling what the ceiling is for either man at this point, but we’ll at least get a glimpse at what may be to come.



Dallas Owens

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