Lineal MMA heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is set to return to the boxing ring following his chocking performance against Tyson Fury.
This time, the former UFC title holder will take on former world champ Anthony Joshua.
The fight is a done deal on both sides and will go down in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this year. The official date will be announced during an upcoming London press conference, according to multiple reports citing Saudi boxing boss Turki Alalshikh.
The winner of the marquee fight could be well-positioned to challenge the winner of the February 17 undisputed championship bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Francis Ngannou coming off close loss, Anthony Joshua riding three-fight win streak
Although Francis Ngannou is currently 0-1 as a pro boxer, the MMA champion earned his respect in the boxing world as he dropped WBC champ Tyson Fury with a left hook and more than held his own during ten closely-contested rounds as they squared off in a non-title bout.
Francis Ngannou ended up losing a controversial split decision. However, he definitely walked away with a moral victory while also setting up future big fights such as this next one against Anthony Joshua as well as a potential Fury rematch, while earning millions of dollars in career-high fight purses along the way.
As for Anthony Joshua, the two-time IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion is coming into the Ngannou fight riding a three-fight win streak. The British star holds a 27-3 record and most recently battered Sweden’s Otto Wallin in Riyadh for five rounds en route to a corner stoppage.