Hearn’s new-found enthusiasm for the bout obviously stems from Ngannou’s impressive display against Tyson Fury. While the former UFC heavyweight champion may have suffered a controversial split decision loss at the hands of the WBC heavyweight champion, Ngannou gave a performance many thought was worthy of being awarded the victory. After dropping Fury in the third round and going the distance, the calls for the MMA fighter to enter the boxing ring again only grew. Malik Scott had confirmed that a bout with Deontay Wilder was being discussed, which has now resulted in Hearn responding by offering up his fighter, Joshua.
“What you have to do now is rematch Tyson Fury or fight Anthony Joshua. If Usyk has to fight Tyson Fury, and I believe he will, then AJ against Francis Ngannou, and the winner fights the winner of the other fight [Fury-Usyk]….In boxing, because AJ is a superstar, and Wilder is a solid name and a big name in America because of the Fury fights. You’re talking about a guy [Joshua] that is a two-time heavyweight champion, a guy that has endorsement deals and broadcast deals all over the world. It’s a monstrous fight,” Hearn
Nevertheless, the bout is unlikely to boost Joshua’s aspirations of becoming a world champion again. Ngannou has no belts to offer, as a loss to an MMA fighter would damage Joshua’s career even further. And yet, at a time when Joshua is no closer to a world title, a lucrative fight with a low-risk opponent may be the way forward. And yet, the social media response suggested that this potential fight was simply being done to keep Joshua’s name relevant.
Lmao “Eddie Hearn says people care about watching Anthony Joshua fight, as he’s said every day for years, despite all the evidence to the contrary.”
— FreeUFCbetPicks (@FreeUFCbetPicks) October 31, 2023
Anthony Joshua can't sell.
— M 🌹 (@ShockerMax) October 30, 2023
The same guy that called the matchup a “gimmick fight” lmao
Francis has earned everyone’s respect.
— 🏴 (@A1MEDAM) October 30, 2023