An exciting clash has been added to the boxing calendar for 2024 with the announcement that former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is set to fight Francis Ngannou in March.
Joshua went undefeated in 2023 after losing his belts to Oleksandr Usyk the previous year and now takes on an interesting opponent in the former MMA star who knocked down Tyson Fury on his professional boxing debut in October.
The date for the Joshua v Ngannou clash is expected to be Friday 8th March with the full details, including the start time for the fight, expected to be announced at a press conference on Monday 15th January. It is expected to be a 10-round contest.
The heavyweight contest is expected to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, most likely at the Kingdom Arena, which is hosting the fight between Fury and Usyk on 17th February.
The bout will be shown live on both Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN after an agreement was made for both platforms to broadcast the mega fight.
DAZN is a subscription only service, meaning subscribers will take in the fight as part of their monthly agreement, whilst Sky have yet to announce the cost of the one-off fee for the bout.
It's expected to be either £19.95 or £24.95 - in-line with other recent Box Office events.
Eddie Hearn (X): "Tonight we confirm it’s a done deal! @anthonyjoshua v @francis_ngannou collide on a huge night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - press conference Jan 15 in London with full details dropping soon!"
Frank Warren (X): "Another historic night for @RiyadhSeason! Press conference and fight date news coming soon. Can’t wait for it all to get started!"
The Brit is 4/11 to win by KO, TKO or disqualification, with the former UFC star 11/2 to win by the same method. If the fight goes to the judges' scorecards, it is 5/1 that Joshua wins by decision or technical decision and 20/1 for Ngannou to get the verdict, while a draw or technical draw is 18/1.
In the round group betting, a Joshua win in either the first or second round is 9/2 and the British fighter is 7/2 to win in either round three or four. Ngannou is 20/1 to win in rounds three to four and 25/1 to seal victory in rounds five or six.
Joshua currently holds no belts, therefore no titles will be on the line in this fight.
Joshua has a 27-3 professional record after winning the super-heavyweight gold medal for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.
The 34-year-old won his first 22 fights before losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz in 2019. He regained those titles in a rematch with the American six months later, but suffered successive losses to Usyk in 2021 and 2022.
He got back on the comeback trail last year, beating Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin and is now hoping this fight will propel him back into the world championship picture.
Nicknamed the Predator, Ngannou is a 37-year-old fighter from Cameroon who is a former UFC heavyweight champion.
He had a 17-3 MMA record and is now 0-1 as a professional boxer, but he made a strong impression in his debut bout against former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in October 2023.
Ngannou knocked down Fury in the third round of the fight, which was billed as the Battle of the Baddest, and lost only on a controversial split decision after 10 rounds.
Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.