Anthony Joshua KOs Francis Ngannou in second round, wants winner of Oleksandr Usyk-Tyson Fury next – The Athletic

By Greg Rosenstein10m ago

Anthony Joshua proved once again why he’s among the best heavyweight boxers in the world. The Brit defeated Francis Ngannou via second-round KO in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in a megafight between two of the biggest stars in combat sports.

Ngannou, who competes in the Professional Fighters League and a former UFC heavyweight champion, looked comfortable against Joshua early on. But with one minute left in the first round, Joshua dropped his opponent with a brutal straight right.

He survived the round but early in the second Joshua again sent his opponent to the mat with a vicious short right. Ngannou got up and moments later was destroyed by an overhand right that collapsed him like a folding chair.


The finish came at the 2:38 mark of the second round.

“I’m still learning, still pushing,” Joshua said after the win. “I’m still hungry.”

He was asked if his hope was to face the winner of Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, who meet for the undisputed heavyweight championship on May 18.

“Yes it is.”

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter at Matchroom Boxing, said “there is no man in the world who can beat him in the heavyweight division.”

Joshua (28-3) has now won four in a row with recent victories over Ngannou, Otto Wallin, Robert Helenius and Jermaine Franklin.

Ngannou dropped to 0-2 in his boxing career following defeats to Joshua and Tyson Fury. The result to ‘The Gypsy King,’ even in a split-decision defeat, was a major surprise considering his inexperience and Fury’s accolades as a former unified boxing titleholder.

Joshua, in the ring after the fight, told Ngannou “don’t leave boxing.”

Ngannou is expected to return to the cage to face PFL heavyweight champion Renan Ferreira next.

Required reading

  • Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou live updates: AJ delivers statement result with second-round knockout
  • Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk unification fight postponed due to Briton’s eye injury

(Photo: Richard Pelham / Getty Images)

Get all-access to exclusive stories.

Subscribe to The Athletic for in-depth coverage of your favorite players, teams, leagues and clubs. Try a week on us.

Start Free Trial

Greg Rosenstein is a senior editor on the News team at The Athletic. He has previously worked at ESPN as an editor for MMA, NBA and college basketball. Follow Greg on Twitter @grosenstein