Anthony Joshua didn't get a fight with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder, but he's set to take on another big opponent.
Joshua will go up against Francis Ngannou in a probably 10-round match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The news was confirmed on Friday by Turki Alalshikh, the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, on his social media.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, mentioned that they would make an official announcement on January 15 in London.
“Tonight we confirm it’s a Done Deal! @anthonyjoshua v. @francis_ngannou collide in a huge night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” stated Hearn in a post on Twitter. “-press conference Jan 15 in London with full details dropping soon! #JoshuaNgannou @Turki_alalshikh @MatchroomBoxing @Queensbury #RiyadhSeason”
No official date has been announced, but there's talk of the Joshua-Ngannou fight happening around March 8 or 9.
Joshua, from Watford, England, had his last fight on December 23 in Riyadh, headlining a 'Day of Reckoning' card. He faced Otto Wallin and dominated, making Wallin quit after round five, likely due to a broken nose.
This win is Joshua's third in a row since his split-decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk in August 2022. Joshua, a former world unified titleholder, had Derrick James as his trainer. For the Wallin fight, Ben Davison was in Joshua's corner.
Joshua was initially supposed to fight Deontay Wilder later this year, but plans changed. Wilder fought Joseph Parker on the same 'Day of Reckoning' card, losing by a clear decision to Parker.
Ngannou, in his only boxing fight on October 28, nearly upset Tyson Fury, losing in a close split-decision. Ngannou knocked Fury down in round three and showed good boxing skills throughout the match.
The 37-year-old Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, is originally from Batie, Cameroon, and now lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This March fight between Joshua and Ngannou is part of a series of high-profile cards happening in Saudi Arabia. On February 17, Fury and Usyk, the Ring Magazine heavyweight champion, will also fight in Riyadh.
If both Joshua and Fury win, there's potential for an all-British showdown that could fill stadiums in the United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia.
No details yet on where to watch the Joshua-Ngannou fight.