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Francis Ngannou shares boxing plans: ‘Anthony Joshua is the fight we’d like to do’

Ngannou’s boxing ambitions involve bringing a huge fight back to Africa: a war with British heavyweight Anthony Joshua.

Boxing In London: Anthony Joshua v Jermaine Franklin Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Francis Ngannou has signed a mixed martial arts (MMA) contract with Professional Fighters League (PFL) and plans to fight for the organization in 2024. But, what about his immediate boxing plans?

Ngannou left Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) so that he could pursue a big money fight against a top Heavyweight boxer, but five months into the year and we’re still waiting to hear who he’ll fight, when he’ll compete and where. During his media tour to discuss the PFL deal, Ngannou gave an update on the search for an opponent.

“We’ve been looking at [Anthony Joshua in Africa],” Ngannou said on the DAZN MMA Show. “Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, so far we’ve only been able to keep the conversation [going] with Deontay Wilder. But, Anthony Joshua is the fight that we’d like to do.

“We’ve talked with Eddie [Hearn] once, but that was when Joshua was about to fight [Jermaine] Franklin,” Ngannou continued. “That’s something that’s interesting and if we bring this to Africa, then it is going to be massive.

“I think it’s something that will get [Joshua] excited, that he can fight on this continent,” Ngannou added. “Some of the greatest legendary boxing matches in history have taken place on the African continent. It’s very important to bring everything back.”

Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, has been very open about his interest in setting up a Ngannou vs. Joshua fight. He’s admitted that it would be something of a curiosity: can the biggest power puncher in MMA shock the boxing world?

Probably not, but a lot of people will pay to find out.

And Hearn pointed out something that Ngannou is learning on his own: Tyson Fury is a very fickle man, and you can spend a whole lot of time talking on social media — and even in the ring — without a contract even being signed.

If the Joshua fight doesn’t come together, Ngannou has Wilder in mind, too.

“Even when we were talking to Deontay he was talking about two fights, one somewhere else and one in Africa,” he said.

There’s still a big sticking point, though: Saudi Arabia is planning a monster end-of-year event, with Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder in the works. They’re reportedly going to splash these guys with purses in the high eight figures.

As confident as everyone is in their ability to beat Ngannou in the boxing ring, do they want to risk missing out on that?

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