Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou: Face Off!
(February 19th) Ahead of their March 8th "Knockout Chaos" event on DAZN.com, Ade Oladipo sat down with Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou to find out why March 8 is going to be one of the most exciting boxing events this year!
Knockout Chaos Promised
For Joshua vs Ngannou On March 8th!
(January 15th) H.E. Advisor Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority, proudly announces ‘Knockout Chaos’ headlined by former unified World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua in a mouthwatering match up against MMA superstar and now Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou on Friday 8 March at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.
The event is being delivered to fans across the world by The General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, Goldstar Promotions and GIMIK Fight Promotions.
Previously the WBA, IBF and WBO World Champion, Joshua completed a busy and successful year on 23 December 2023 when he defeated Otto Wallin in five rounds in a headline attraction on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh, a fight which marked his return to the elite end of the Heavyweight rankings.
Former UFC Heavyweight champion Ngannou entered the world of boxing when he competed in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ against WBC World Champion Tyson Fury, which opened Riyadh Season on 28 October 2023. The fight boomed into life towards the end of the third round when Ngannou landed a left hook to the temple of Fury’s head and the champion was put to the canvas.
Ngannou winning the respect and admiration of boxing fans across the globe with a remarkable performance. Now, in what will be his second professional fight, Ngannou takes on the other most popular heavyweight on the planet.
H.E. Alalshikh states that: “‘Knockout Chaos’ is one of the most important events to take place in Riyadh Season so far this year, an occasion which will bring together yet more international champions from one of the most popular sports in the world.”
"I will be ready to go once the first bell rings.” Insists the two-time former unified World Champion Joshua “I will approach this mission with laser focus until the job is complete. I am looking forward to returning to Riyadh and I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the passion they have shown to myself and the sport of boxing.”
Ngannou pledges to continue silencing the doubters when he takes to the ring for his second professional fight.
“People have always doubted me and I always proved them wrong,” said the Cameroon-born star. ‘It is clear I am a trouble for elite boxers and AJ should prepare himself for a battle because I am like nothing he has ever faced. It is going to be another spectacle for boxing fans in Riyadh, only this time I have no intention of leaving it in the hands of the judges.”
Hall of Fame Promoter and Founder of Queensberry Promotions Frank Warren, added: “Friday 8 March in Riyadh will be another monumental event for the sport of boxing made possible by His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and his team, with who we have established a brilliantly productive working relationship. Riyadh Season has opened up new and thrilling frontiers for our great sport and, in Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, we have a further Heavyweight blockbuster that will surely capture the imagination of fans right across the world.”
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport and Joshua’s long time Promoter said: “This is undoubtedly one of the biggest fights in boxing and I am grateful His Excellency, Turki Alalshikh shares that view. We’re talking about two giants in Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, two men who look like they are carved out of stone, two devastating punchers. We are ready for another huge event in Saudi Arabia and a night full of drama. After AJ’s demolition of Otto Wallin, he steps up against the former MMA Lineal champ. Francis has already proved his credentials in a thriller with Tyson Fury and comes into this clash full of confidence and fire. This is one of the biggest fights in the sport and one that can be over in the blink of an eye. When these two meet in Riyadh one thing is for sure… it will be Knockout Chaos!”
Manager of Ngannou, Marquel Martin of 3POINT0 Labs said: “Francis has proved he’s the baddest man on the planet against arguably the best boxer in the sport. Anthony Joshua has earned all the respect in the world for his accomplishments, but on March 8th he will realize he’s up against a man who has been through it all in life in Francis Ngannou. Thank you to His Excellency and the KSA for yet another epic Heavyweight showdown.”
To support one of the biggest fight in combat sports history, the event will also feature one of the most impressive undercards in boxing history.
The heavyweight division will take further shape when the Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) defends his WBO Interim world championship against former world champion Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) from New Zealand.
Rey Vargas (36-1, 22 KOs), the WBC World Champion from Mexico will make a first defense of his belt when he takes on No.1 contender, the Liverpool featherweight firebrand Nick Ball (19-0, 11 KOs).
Featuring on the card is a Battle of Britain at Lightweight, where top young contender and IBF European Champion Mark Chamberlain (14-0, 10 KOs) from England will challenge for the European Champion, Welshman Gavin Gwynne (17-2-1, 5 KOs).
Also performing in Riyadh will be Australian Heavyweight hopeful Justis Huni (8-0, 4 KOs), who will be looking to make his name in the flagship division (opponent details to be included ASAP) plus Cruiserweight prospect Roman Fury (3-0, 1 KO), British Super-Welterweight Jack McGann (9-0-1, 6 KOs) and local Saudi Arabian Super-Lightweight Ziyad Almaayouf (4-0, 1 KO).
About Riyadh Season
Saudi Arabia's capital embraces one of the world's biggest entertainment events every year during winter. Since the launch of Riyadh Season in 2019, the festival has welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience thousands of unique entertainment events, concerts, exhibitions and dining experiences. Riyadh Season 2023 commenced on Saturday, 28 October with a spectacular opening ceremony and the historic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, followed up by the 'Day of Reckoning' on December 23 featuring Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker as the headline fights.
About DAZN Group
DAZN Group is one of the fastest growing sports media companies in the world. Headquartered in the UK and with employees in over 25 countries, our businesses touch every aspect of the way fans engage with sports; from production, through to content distribution and commercialization. DAZN Group is home to DAZN, the leading global sport destination, as well as the popular sport portal, DAZN News. DAZN is leading the charge to give sports fans around the world access to sport anytime, anywhere. DAZN guarantees affordable access on most connected devices including smart TVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smartphones, tablets, PCs and game consoles. DAZN is now live in more than 200 countries and territories after first launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan in 2016.
DAZN is a leading digital sports platform in Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Japan, Canada, US and the UK. Its wide range of exclusive content includes top-flight football from the world’s most popular competitions – Bundesliga, English Premier League, J.League, LaLiga, Serie A, and the UEFA Champions League, in addition to the biggest sports from around the world - Formula 1, NFL, NBA, MotoGP and the UFC.
DAZN is the NFL’s global partner and, from the 2023 season, will be the only place for fans around the world to watch every NFL match. DAZN is a global home for boxing and combat sports through its partnerships with Matchroom Boxing the Professional Fighters League. With the most authentic voice in the sport, DAZN is the only brand that can reach across all markets and audiences cohesively in boxing, unlike any other broadcaster. DAZN is also a global home for Women’s Football with UEFA Women’s Champions League and Finetwork Liga F. DAZN is adding more and more sport to its platform to create a destination for sports fans.
DAZN is reimagining the way people enjoy sport. With a single, frictionless platform, sports fans can watch, bet, play, share, socialise, and buy tickets, NFTs and merchandise. Live and on-demand sports content, anywhere, in any language, on any device – only on DAZN.
DAZN is a global, privately-owned company with employees in over 25 countries. For more information on DAZN, our products, people, and performance, visit www.dazngroup.com.
DAZN is available on most connected devices including smart TVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smartphones, tablets, PCs and game consoles, ensuring that fans have access to ground-breaking rights catalogue and slate of incredible content. In the UK and globally, DAZN can be accessed on Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic Smart TVs and on Games Consoles including Playstation and Xbox. Subscribers also have access to DAZN on their Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast and Apple TV and find the app on their iPhone, iPad, android and mobile.
About Matchroom Boxing
After the success of snooker in the 1980s, Matchroom Sport moved into boxing with two small hall shows followed by Frank Bruno v Joe Bugner at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground – the biggest boxing event of 1987. That launched the company into the boxing big-time, a position it has maintained ever since.
Through the 1990s Matchroom Sport’s boxing roster featured many of the biggest names in the sport including Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Naseem Hamed, all in world title fights and it continues to work with some of the biggest names in UK boxing including Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic Super-Heavyweight gold medalist.
Over the years, Matchroom Sport has built up long-standing relationships with broadcasters around the world and with the advent of the Prizefighter phenomenon, the company’s boxing division has never been in a stronger position.
From fantastic six round scraps between the sport’s journeymen, up to multi-million-dollar World Championship contests featuring the above fighters, the Pro Box series has it all. Each show is packed with the very best in boxing action in a series that encompasses almost 25 years of Matchroom Sport’s commitment to bringing the highest quality to the global television market.