How does Francis Ngannou beat Anthony Joshua? Knockout win likely for ‘The Predator’ in Saudi boxing fight

When Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou enter the ring on March 8, all the talk leading up to their crossover fight will be forgotten. The two heavyweights will look to let their talent, mainly their fists, do the talking when they square off in Saudi Arabia.

There has been analysis from all aspects of boxing and MMA media, as well as fans looking forward to watching these two fight. Who will land the first punch? Will there be multiple knockdowns? Are the odds, which have Joshua as the favorite, fair?

However, when the first bell rings, all literal and figurative bets are off.

Joshua has experience and heart heading into the fight. The former two-time heavyweight champion has worked his way up the ladder with three straight wins. His last fight was a mauling of Otto Wallin, proving he still has gas left in the tank. “AJ” is usually calm before a fight, his demeanor not loud and careless. He is taking Ngannou seriously, unlike WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Ngannou fought Fury in October after years in an MMA cage. “The Predator”, with 12 wins via knockout in MMA, had a dream to box since he was a child in Cameroon. He finally got his moment, going from the salt mines to clashing against Fury, knocking “The Gypsy King” down in a shocking display of competency. Though he lost via decision, Ngannou dismissed doubters and became a made man.

WATCH: Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, exclusively live on DAZN

The 37-year-old has shown confidence heading into fight night unseen before. Ngannou bullied Fury at the pre-fight press conference, sent a warning to all boxers, and believes the 34-year-old Joshua has fear in his eyes. Is there a cause for concern, especially with Ngannou’s explosive power?

Can Francis Ngannou knock out Anthony Joshua?

Joshua is one of the most scientific boxers in the world. The Brit was taken down by Wladimir Klitschko in 2018 but recovered by putting him down twice. He also took down Carlos Takam, Alexander Povetkin, and Andy Ruiz Jr., though the latter retaliated and brought Joshua to a knee several times. “AJ” recovered in the rematch. After losing two against Oleksandr Usyk, he knocked some sense into Robert Helenius and Wallin.

Ngannou will be in the ring with a man with an 89% knockout ratio in boxing; someone who has experience in the squared circle for 10 to 12 rounds. Joshua can use his jab to neutralize Ngannou and take him down at some point in the fight.

However, Ngannou has proven that one shot to the chin is all he needs.

WATCH: What if AJ loses to Ngannou?

He proved that his entire MMA career and once against Fury. Ngannou may knock Joshua down to the floor. Whether Joshua recovers is an entirely different story. And if done more than once — again, not impossible — Ngannou could be the one with his hand raised.

Can Francis Ngannou beat Anthony Joshua via decision?

The term “Go The Distance” from Field of Dreams comes to mind. Can Ngannou last 10 rounds against Joshua?

It appeared Ngannou was slowing down as the fight with Fury went on, as he is used to three or five five-minute rounds in MMA. He still has a boxing mindset, and further training has led to this moment. Ngannou can’t take his foot off the gas and must press forward to bother Joshua, interrupting the Watford-born fighter’s game plan.

If the judges come into play, Ngannou needs to knock down Joshua multiple times to secure a win. Either that, or he must remain consistent, or Joshua will take advantage of the man still considered a novice.

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