'Postman' Joshua Vows to Deliver Against Ngannou

Anthony Joshua vowed to “deliver” in Friday’s fight with Francis Ngannou when he weighed in at 18st – and therefore over a stone lighter than his opponent.

The heavyweights fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, aware that in the event of victory they will secure a future date with the winner of the two fights for the undisputed title between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua, 34 years old and 27-3 with 24 knockouts, tipped the scales at 252.4lbs. Ngannou was 272.6lbs – or 19st 7lbs – and after being outpointed by Fury in October is entering only his second professional boxing match.

“I deliver,” Joshua told DAZN. “I’m the postman.

“I am the man. I’m Anthony Joshua.

“You can feel it in the air already. The energy’s good.

“Sometimes when you bow your head, you make prayers, miracles do happen. That’s all I can say. God is good. God is good. He’s working in my favour.”

Their fight had been described by Michael Buffer, the high-profile master of ceremonies, as a “power versus power contest”, and while the 37-year-old Ngannou’s knockdown of Fury demonstrated that that much might be true, the use of the Rocky soundtrack seemed a considerable stretch.

Joshua answered “always” when asked if he respected Ngannou, and then, to a question about whether he believes Fury was guilty of not doing the same, responded: “Tyson can answer those questions himself. I can’t be a spokesman for Tyson.”

Ngannou was half a pound lighter when in October he weighed in to fight Fury, and represented Joshua’s heaviest opponent since his rematch in 2019 with the vastly overweight Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

“I have learned a little from the last fight and the last camp leading into this one,” he said. “I have a little bit more experience, but my mindset is still the same.

“This is just my second boxing match. Even though I have taken on the two best guys in the world [Fury and Joshua] in boxing, it is still only my second boxing match. So my mindset is still the same because I know I am the underdog. I am going out there to prove that you can be an underdog, make it, and stand your ground.

“Sometimes I just laugh because I know that we are going to fight under boxing rules but I do think what the fight would be like if it was a free fight in MMA rules. I would smoke those guys.

“I am the only one who has gone to their backyard – they could never come to my backyard because I would take the two of them at once.

“My official prediction is me leaving the ring with the victory.”