Teddy Atlas: Joshua’s Experience Prevailed Over Ngannou’s Power

Boxing expert Teddy Atlas feels that Anthony Joshua’s experience was the deciding factor in knocking out a still-green non-boxer, former UFC champion Francis Ngannou, in the second round of a three-knockdown performance on Friday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Atlas says Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) used his experience to take advantage of Ngannou’s habit of throwing lead left hooks by nailing him with a right hand.

Moreover, the element of surprise that Ngannou had in his first pro fight against Tyson Fury last October wasn’t there tonight against Joshua, as he and his trainer, Ben Davison, knew what to expect from him and had prepared for it.

Ngannou did some odd things, such as switching southpaw in the first round, which you don’t do when you’re at the novice level. Joshua took advantage of that mistake by dropping Ngannou with an overhand right, and from there, it was all downhill for the former MMA champ.

No Surprises for Joshua

“Experience showed. I don’t think Tyson Fury expected what he expected from Ngannou the first time, but there was an element of surprise. There was no element of surprise this time,” said Teddy Atlas to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Anthony Joshua’s second-round knockout win over Francis Ngannou on Friday night.

Unlike Fury, Joshua was ready for Ngannou’s unorthodox style, and power, so he knew exactly what to do by throwing lead right hands.

You could see in the dressing room before the fight that Joshua was throwing repeated right hands without using his left, making it clear what his game plan was for the fight.

“Joshua knew what he was dealing with this time, and he was respectful of it and prepared for it. His experience allowed him to have the big advantage that he had. Joshua did a good job of using feints to get that left lead out [by Ngannou], so he could score with that right hand,” Atlas continued.

Experience = Seeing the Openings

“His experience showed that he could see the opening for a right hand against a guy who obviously doesn’t have the experience. He [Joshua] was able to see things that a guy with less experience couldn’t.

“Joshua is back in a place where he’s very calm, and he knows why he’s doing it. It’s not about money anymore,” said Atlas.