Anthony Joshua demolishes Francis Ngannou with absolutely brutal knockout in second round

Anthony Joshua delivered one of the most violent knockouts in recent memory when he put former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou down and out in the second round in their showdown in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

It was a disastrous night for Ngannou after he nearly scored an upset over Tyson Fury in his professional boxing debut but his second appearance in the ring went sideways in a hurry. Despite showing confidence early, Ngannou got put down in the opening round with a straight right hand from Joshua.

Things only got worse from there with Joshua connecting with another stiff right midway through the second round that dropped Ngannou again. The Cameroon native got back to his feet but his night was over just moments later.

With Ngannou still wobbled, Joshua surged forward as he uncorked a hellacious overhand right that landed clean. Ngannou was out before he hit the canvas as he folded up and hit the ground with the referee immediately waving off the fight.

The end came at 2:38 in the second round.

“It is what it is,” Joshua said about his thunderous right hand that knocked out Ngannou. “He’s an inspiration so we wanted to welcome him, we broke bread together. He’s great champion. This doesn’t take anything away from his capabilities. He can come again. I told him he shouldn’t leave boxing.”

Ngannou stayed motionless on the canvas for a few minutes after the knockout before he eventually sat up to receive some oxygen from the ringside physicians. He got back to his feet to shake hands and share a moment with Joshua before the result was announced but Ngannou left the ring without speaking afterwards.

Sadly, Ngannou’s second foray into boxing ended dramatically different than the first.

Despite his relative nativity to the sport, Ngannou actually looked more comfortable when the fight with Joshua started as he measured his punches and even switched to a southpaw stance early in the opening round. Just when it looked like Ngannou was settling into a rhythm, Joshua putting him down with the straight punch that obviously caught him off guard.

Ngannou nearly took the full 10 count to get back to his feet and time ran out in the round before Joshua could dish out any more damage.

As the second round got underway, Joshua seemed to know that his right hand couldn’t miss and Ngannou just couldn’t track that shot coming at him. The second knockdown followed with another right snapping Ngannou’s head back and putting him on the canvas.

Once he got back up again, Ngannou was living on borrowed time until Joshua unleashed the overhand right that ended the fight in stunning fashion. Replays showed Ngannou’s legs folding underneath him as he fell unconscious to the ground with Joshua celebrating his victory.

He once called the matchup nothing more than a gimmick fight but Joshua paid homage to Ngannou for stepping into his world and showing he belonged there, especially after he took Fury to a razor-close decision. Joshua will now keep a close eye on the upcoming fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk with hopes that he might get the winner before the year is over.

“I’m just here to fight,” Joshua said. “I’m going back to my cage and wait and be let out when it’s time to fight. I just want to fight.”

As for Ngannou, it’s a tough end to a remarkable six-month run that started with signing to fight Fury and then ending with the knockout loss to Joshua. It’s tough to predict what he’ll do next, although a return to MMA seems most likely with Renan Ferreira awaiting a chance to face Ngannou in the PFL.