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Francis Ngannou to Face Anthony Joshua in Riyadh

 Francis Ngannou is set to square off against former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The news was confirmed by combat sports reporter Ariel Helwani, who cited sources close to Turki Alalshhikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority.

The highly anticipated 10-round bout is scheduled to take place at Kingdom Arena, with an official announcement expected at a press conference later this month. Alalshhikh's involvement underscores Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in hosting high-profile boxing events, having recently supported several notable pay-per-view fights.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s longtime promoter, verified the completion of the Joshua-Ngannou deal and disclosed that a press conference is slated for January 15 in London to formally announce the matchup.

Ngannou, a former UFC champion from Cameroon, made headlines with his impressive performance against undefeated WBC champion Tyson Fury in a recent bout at Kingdom Arena. Despite flooring Fury with a left hook in the third round, Ngannou narrowly lost by split decision, with judges Alan Krebs and Juan Carlos Pelayo scoring the fight in favor of Fury, while judge Ed Garner gave Ngannou the edge.

Following his narrow defeat, Ngannou’s attention turned to Joshua, who was initially set to face Deontay Wilder in a highly anticipated showdown. However, former WBO champion Joseph Parker upset Wilder in a recent fight, altering the heavyweight landscape and paving the way for the upcoming clash between Ngannou and Joshua.

With both fighters seeking to make their mark in the heavyweight division, the Ngannou-Joshua bout promises to be a thrilling encounter that could have significant implications for the future of heavyweight boxing.


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