Francis Ngannou is two steps away from becoming boxing’s undisputed heavyweight champion.
It has been a remarkable year for the former UFC Heavyweight Champion since he left the UFC last year. Ngannou turned down an $8 million offer, which would have earned him his highest-ever purse in the UFC. Ngannou cited several reasons, including the fact he would not be an independent contractor, thus reducing the control over his career. He signed with the PFL, which allowed him box.
He would headline the first event of Riyadh Season against Tyson Fury, losing via a split decision. His performance earned him much praise, mainly because he pushed Fury all the way, even dropping him in the third round. Ngannou then secured a top-ten WBC ranking and a fight against Anthony Joshua. They face off on March 8, 2024, with the winner in line to face the undisputed champion. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight for undisputed on February 17. Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh, the head of the General Entertainment Authority, confirmed as much.
‼️ His Excellency Turki Alalshikh has made it clear that he wants the winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk on Feb 17th to defend the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO heavyweight world titles against the winner of Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou on March 8th.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 15, 2024
Eddie Hearn has different plans as he expects Joshua to come out victorious. The Brit was on course to become undisputed in 2018 when talks over a Deontay Wilder fight broke down. Both boxers would lose their belts, with Usyk beating Joshua and Fury dethroning Wilder. But Hearn has backed Joshua to reach the top.
“For Ngannou to fight for the undisputed championship in his third fight, it could be a rematch with Fury. He could become undisputed heavyweight champion. For AJ, we’ve dreamed about that for so many years. I told AJ before the face-to-face, ‘Two wins, and you’re going to be the undisputed champion,’ and I believe he’s going to do it,” Hearn said
Boxing back !!!
— HIM DUNCAN⚡️ (@stackztootrill) January 15, 2024
Nah. On God, this dude has actually saved boxing.
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— BenBTC1825 (@BenBTC1825) January 15, 2024