Ngannou Ready To Shock The World

Francis Ngannou vowed to “shock the world” when he fights Anthony Joshua on Friday evening.

On the occasion of his second professional boxing match, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he fights the 34-year-old Joshua with a date against the winner of Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk on the line.

Fury revealed earlier on Wednesday that plans exist for the winner of Friday’s fight to meet the winner of the two fights for the undisputed heavyweight title – the first is on May 18 – and Ngannou, 37, is determined to seize his chance.

After being widely expected to convincingly lose to Fury in October, Ngannou dropped the WBC heavyweight champion and in a narrow defeat enhanced his reputation to the extent he is considered a worthy opponent for Joshua, a two-time champion perhaps considered the third finest heavyweight in the world.

It was put to Ngannou at Wednesday’s press conference that he “shocked the world” when he surpassed expectations against Fury, but he will again be the underdog against Joshua, and he said: “I haven’t shocked the world yet. I’ve been training; learning. When I’m really going to get in is when the world is gonna be shocked. I’m working, building and learning about the sport I’ve loved my entire life and didn’t really have the opportunity to do it and get some experience. It’s working on that experience [against Fury]. I trust the process; I trust my team; the work we’re putting in is gonna pay off.

“Every space that I have an opening, I’m gonna hit. So don’t you worry about clues. I’m not going to leave any opportunity unexplored.

“[Joshua’s was a flawless performance [in December against Otto Wallin]. It was a great performance. I watched that fight closely. But that doesn’t do anything, because I know I’m no Wallin – it’s going to be a different opponent; a different feeling. The fight can be very different.”

Joshua’s victory over Wallin represented his first under his new trainer Ben Davison, the former trainer of Fury who on Tuesday questioned Ngannou’s stamina in the context of his fight with Joshua being scheduled for 10 rounds.

“I’ll struggle to do 10 rounds,” Ngannou said. “I’ll struggle to do 10 rounds. If anybody doesn’t struggle to do 10 rounds then they’re something else – they’re not human. I’m human. Everybody gets tired after 10 rounds. I have no problem with it – it’s a learning process and I’m sure to learn. I struggled for the first fight against Tyson Fury. ‘What will happen when I get in the fourth round – how will I feel?’ Yes, I did struggle, but he struggled as well – maybe more.

“He will be the best [victory of my career] so far, but I’m just getting started. I’m really looking for the victory on Friday night but that won’t be the statement of my career, because the road is still long, because I’m still looking to gain a lot of major victories like this – one more over Tyson [he was scored the loser on points], and I’m intending to have the second one, and he’s been bitching about it.”

Fury was sat in front of the top table as they spoke, and at that point shouted in response.

“I’m gonna wipe the ring with your a** again,” the Cameroonian in turn said. “There was blood in the ring. Your only chance is in the boxing ring with the boxing rules. When you step out of the ring you better stay away, because if I lose it, you’re going to have a really bad time, my friend. Respect the fact that boxing is protecting your a**, and the rules are protecting you. I’ll beat you every day; twice on Sunday.”