Joshua and Ngannou will face each other on March 8/9th, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There were links with Zhang and Filip Hrgovic, but the Brit will face the former UFC heavyweight champion. Ngannou only has one boxing fight to his name against Tyson Fury. He lost a split decision, but his performance earned him a top-ten ranking by the WBC. Before Ngannou fought Fury, Joshua called it a ‘gimmick fight’ as he questioned Fury’s failure to fight Oleksandr Usyk. The turnaround got Zhang’s attention, and he accused Hearn of keeping Joshua away from him.
“I never thought this fight would be made. I think there’s one more person, Eddie Hearn, who will not let Anthony Joshua fight me. It’s too much of a risk. When I signed with Matchroom a couple of years ago that was one of the conversations we had. My management team flew to London and sat down with everybody to talk about it. It’s been years since that, and this fight never materialised. They know how to successfully avoid this,” Zhang said
But Zhang could still secure a fight on the Joshua-Ngannou undercard. Reports indicate Zhang could face Deontay Wilder. The Bronze Bomber will be looking to bounce back from his loss to Joseph Parker. Wilder was expected to face Joshua if he beat Parker. The winner of Zhang-Wilder, however, could find themselves getting a shot at Joshua. But for now, Ngannou was the focus, given the lucrative offer on the table.
“All of sudden he’s the cash cow. Everybody thinks if I were to fight Ngannou I’ll make a ton of money. What is boxing at the end of the day? Is it a business or is it a competitive sport? That’s the question,” Zhang stated
It is definitely a tough fight
— Stoic Knights (@stoicknights) January 7, 2024
— Simon (@Linea1Fury) January 7, 2024
Chasing a payday.
— Mark clinton (@GizmoClinton) January 7, 2024