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Anthony Joshua not keen on "gimmicky" Francis Ngannou fight - Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua, the renowned British heavyweight boxer, has expressed his reservations about a potential clash with MMA sensation Francis Ngannou, according to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

Ngannou recently made headlines by parting ways with the UFC, venturing into free agency, and subsequently signing with the PFL. While this move has left many combat sports enthusiasts eager to see the former UFC heavyweight champion back in action, it seems Joshua is not as enthusiastic about the prospect.

Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, shed light on the situation, stating that Joshua is currently focused on his professional boxing career and does not wish to deviate from that path with what he perceives as a "gimmicky" fight against Ngannou. In a recent interview with Oscar Willis of TheMacLife, Hearn shared Joshua's sentiments:

"I spoke to AJ [Joshua] about the fight [with Ngannou]. He likes it and he gets it. But he is very focused on his boxing career at the moment and he doesn't want to derail that to do something gimmicky. Even though it's dangerous. But [Joshua] wants to prepare for Deontay Wilder."

While boxing and MMA crossovers have captured the imagination of fight fans in recent years, Joshua's reluctance to engage in such an endeavor showcases his commitment to his craft and his desire to pursue meaningful challenges within his chosen discipline. His focus remains firmly fixed on preparing for a potential showdown with Deontay Wilder, another formidable heavyweight boxer known for his devastating punching power.

Meanwhile, Ngannou's decision to join the PFL comes with significant financial benefits. The Cameroonian-born fighter's opponents will be guaranteed a substantial purse of $2 million. Furthermore, Ngannou's involvement as the chairman of PFL Africa illustrates his ambition to foster the growth of mixed martial arts on the African continent, a region teeming with untapped potential.

As the combat sports landscape continues to evolve, fighters like Ngannou are taking bold steps to shape their careers and explore new avenues for success. Ngannou's move to the PFL signifies a shift in power dynamics, granting athletes greater control over their professional destinies.

However, it seems that for now, a potential clash between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will remain a tantalizing what-if scenario, as Joshua prioritizes his boxing career and his pursuit of high-profile bouts within the ring.

While fans may have to wait to witness Ngannou's boxing debut, his presence in the PFL and his commitment to expanding MMA in Africa promise an exciting future for both the fighter and the sport.


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