2024 promises epic battles 

The year 2024 has kicked off with a bang in the world of boxing, with fans set to be treated to yet another mega fight between heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou. 

The epic battle between the former two-time heavyweight boxing champion Joshua and ex-UFC titleholder Ngannou was recently confirmed to take place in Saudi Arabia on March 8.  

Joshua, affectionately known as “AJ”, heads into the bout with confidence, having eased past Otto Wallin in his last fight, which was the head-liner of a pre-Christmas show in Saudi Arabia. 

In that fight, “AJ” appeared to finally be back to his brilliant best, fighting off the front foot and throwing some powerful combinations to see off the limited Swede in the fifth round. 

On the same evening as Joshua’s impressive win over Wallin, the Englishman’s long time rival and potential next opponent Deontay Wilder suffered a shock defeat to Joseph Parker, ruining that long-awaited match-up. 

This has paved the way for Ngannou to step in and it is an opportunity “The Predator” has grabbed with both hands as he looks to continue building his growing reputation in boxing. 

Ngannou is coming into the bout on the back of an impressive debut performance against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, where he lost a controversial split decision. 

Despite the defeat, he did his reputation no harm with his performance as he exceeded expectations, out-boxing Fury for much of the fight and even dropping “The Gypsy King”. 

Ngannou made a reported R186-million for his fight with Fury last year, a figure he has never come close to in all his UFC fights combined. 

The former UFC star is now expected to make double that figure when he shares the squared circle with Joshua, with a predicted $20-million (R374-million) awaiting him. 

A win over Joshua would undoubtedly secure Ngannou another big pay day in the near future in a fight against another big name heavyweight such as Wilder or Oleksander Usyk 

The Cameroonian would also put himself firmly in the picture for a titanic clash with the winner of February’s undisputed match between Fury and Usyk. 

As for Joshua, he is also expected to make a killing from his bout with Ngannou but has a lot more to lose in terms of his career if defeated. “AJ” has already lost three times in his last eight fights and a defeat to an MMA fighter would be a devastating blow to his career. 

Ngannou has fired an early warning to Joshua and his team, claiming it would be a grave mistake for them to take him lightly. 

“The date is set. It’s two months from now, and if they think they’re going to have easy money, that’s too bad for them. 

“If AJ takes the punch that Fury took, I don’t guarantee that he’s standing up. I’ve heard that he doesn’t have a chin. I’m going to find out.” 

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