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Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou: AJ says former UFC champion just isn’t a ‘gimmick’ opponent and believes he beat Tyson Fury | Boxing Information

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Anthony Joshua dismissed solutions that Francis Ngannou is a ‘gimmick’ opponent and believes the previous UFC champion was wrongly denied a victory over Tyson Fury.

Joshua has received his final three fights, the newest towards Otto Wallin in a dominant five-round win in December, and can face Ngannou of their non-title contest in Friday’s crossover super-fight in Saudi Arabia, dwell on Sky Sports activities Field Workplace.

The combined martial arts made his skilled boxing debut in October final yr the place he knocked down Tyson Fury within the third spherical solely to be denied victory as Fury escaped with a contentious split-decision win.

“I used to be watching the Fury and Ngannou battle from house and from what I noticed I assumed he received,” Joshua mentioned chatting with Sky Sports activities.

“It’s not a gimmick, it’s not one thing that’s benefiting the broadcasters, it’s not only a battle for leisure functions.

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Watch this epic arcade-style blockbuster battle promo forward of Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou on March 8

“This can be a critical battle with somebody who is ready and understands the dynamic of boxing and he’s placing up a great battle towards the apparently generational nice. So, I have a look at it now as one thing fully totally different.

“To be categorized as a world-class heavyweight I’d say that it’s a must to keep there for a time frame. However I feel that he’s an athlete with lots of potential.

“I feel he ought to keep in boxing for my part, he’s bought nice potential to make waves.

“When it comes to the phrase ‘gimmick’ we are able to do away with that. When it comes to the entire crossover facet of what boxing is, it’s not that Ngannou was a gimmick or Fury was a gimmick, however the entire MMA crossing over into boxing I checked out it as a gimmick, however now I can see that there are particular fighters within the MMA world that may field, and he’s one in every of them.

“It’s excellent news for us fighters and excellent news for broadcasters as a result of they have me and Ngannou going at it in a couple of days.”

Stay Battle Evening

Friday eighth March 4:00pm

Nice Britain’s Joshua suffered successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk earlier than successful his three consecutive fights while Ngannou was the reigning UFC heavyweight champion earlier than he left the promotion to start his boxing profession and has 17 wins and three losses from his time in MMA.

“My mentality is that I’m preventing a gifted fighter, like each battle there may be huge jeopardy and I’ve bought to take it significantly,” Joshua continued.

“On the time I checked out it extra as a profit for the broadcasters and sponsors. Now I have a look at it as somebody who’s critical about preventing, critical about MMA and critical about boxing.

“That’s why I’m right here, as a result of I like the identical factor he does, I like to battle. Once I noticed the battle with Tyson Fury I assumed: ‘He is aware of what he’s doing, he can deal with himself.’

“Lots of people say he received the battle and I assumed this can be a nice problem for me as a result of I would like to determine extra about myself, if it’s not a problem then I’m going to stay to what I do know finest and I will keep in my consolation zone.

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Francis Ngannou discusses how he has ready to face Anthony Joshua on March 8

“However after I noticed the battle he put up towards Fury, I assumed this can be a problem which has pushed me to push on and push on from my profession so it’s going to have huge advantages for me within the long-run as effectively.”

Earlier than Fury fought Ngannou, he mentioned the entire of boxing’s status is on his shoulders, however Joshua would not really feel that type of stress.

“I have not considered it that method as a result of it is solely my stress. I do not put that stress on myself and I haven’t got that thought of something. I simply take into consideration successful and doing what I have to do, that is my mentality,” Joshua added.

“It’s a battle, it’s a 50/50 battle. Something can occur. Crazier issues have occurred earlier than. It’s what it’s. It’s a fantastic alternative for me to return to work. If I didn’t take this chance that’s introduced to me, when would I be preventing subsequent?

“Whenever you have a look at it, I’m not initially of my profession, I am not on the center of my profession, I’d say I’m in all probability in direction of the top of my profession.

“Name it no matter you wish to name it, I’m simply comfortable to be at work and doing my job and I can’t await the subsequent alternative that presents itself.”

When is the battle and the way can I e book?

The occasion will begin at 4pm, Friday March 8 on Sky Sports activities Field Workplace (Sky channel 491) and Sky Sports activities Field Workplace HD (Sky channel 492). The occasion is priced at £19.95 for Sky clients within the UK, €24.95 for Sky clients within the Republic of Eire up till midnight on Thursday March 7.

Thereafter £19.95/€24.95 throughout all “self-service” bookings (distant management/on-line) or £24.95 / €29.95 if booked through the telephone (both IVR or agent) however notice a further £2 reserving payment if through an agent will apply.

The occasion value will revert again to £19.95 / €24.95 (ROI) from midnight Friday March 8. Two repeat showings (full length) will probably be proven at 6am and 4pm on Saturday March 9.

Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou takes place on Friday March 8, dwell on Sky Sports activities Field Workplace. Book Joshua v Ngannou now!

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