Haye: Ngannou’s Mindset Gives Him an Edge Against Joshua Tonight

Former two-division world champion David Haye believes Francis Ngannou’s MMA background gives him a psychological advantage against Anthony Joshua in tonight’s fight at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Haye feels that the way Ngannou was sizing Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) during their face-off at the weigh-in, he understands that he could “crush” him if this was an “open rules” fight, allowing him to use his MMA tactics, and there’s no question.

Joshua’s Glaring Weaknesses

Ngannou would stop the fragile-chinned Joshua with one of his mighty blows wearing 4 oz gloves or tackle him to the mat and pound the stuffing out of him until the match was halted.

Unfortunately for Ngannou, he can’t use his cage tactics and will have to figure out how to take advantage of Joshua’s weaknesses, and there are two glaring ones that jump out right away.

As most fans know, Joshua can’t take a punch, is mentally weak when pressured, and has stamina as bad as an asthmatic. When he gases out, he stays tired for three to four rounds and is highly vulnerable during that time.

“In the back of his mind, he’s looking and thinking, ‘I could crush you right now, and he’s right in open rules. But in boxing, you come out of Mixed Martial Arts rules, and you’re only doing punches,” said David Haye to DAZN Boxing, talking about how Francis Ngannou sized up Anthony Joshua during their face-off at the weigh-in on Thursday.

Haye: Ngannou’s Fury Performance Earns Respect

“He’s gone in what many people feel is the best heavyweight in boxing and, on many people’s scorecards, won the fight. So, Anthony Joshua knows that. Anthony Joshua has got a heads-up,” said Haye.

Fury, at this stage of his career, is NOT the best heavyweight in boxing, and he never was. Still, what Ngannou proved against Fury is he’s a better heavyweight than him, and showed that he’s on the top four in the world. The only guys that stand in Ngannou’s way are Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk and Zhilei Zhang.

“He isn’t just an MMA fighter. He’s a legitimate world-level boxer who was able to win many rounds and knockdown Tyson Fury. That, I think, is what is going to get Anthony Joshua to rise to the occasion,’ said Haye.