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Joshua finishes Ngannou in second round


Joshua finishes Ngannou in second round

Anthony Joshua scored a spectacular knockout of Francis Ngannou in Round 2, a right hand that landed clean on the former UFC heavyweight champion’s chin and rendered him unconscious Friday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

After Ngannou regained his senses, ringside officials administered oxygen to the 37-year-old, who was boxing for just the second time.

Joshua floored Ngannou in the opening round with a right hand, and when he beat the count, he appeared to be unsteady. The former boxing heavyweight champion produced another knockdown in Round 2, an equilibrium shot that connected on Ngannou’s left ear.

Moments after Ngannou rose from the second knockdown, Joshua planted him on the canvas for good with a perfectly placed straight right that landed flush. Ngannou’s leg bent awkwardly under him as all 272½ pounds of the MMA fighter fell to the canvas in a heap.

Ngannou, 0-2 in boxing, made his debut in the ring against heavyweight lineal champion Tyson Fury and lost a split decision, even dropping Fury with a left hook in Round 3. This time, he wouldn’t have the same success. Although he was putting together a strong first round, Joshua knocked him down and Ngannou seemingly couldn’t recover.

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Anthony Joshua v Francis N’Gannou, Heavyweight Contest
9 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.
Anthony Joshua knocks down Francis Ngannou for the final time in the fight.

Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) defeated Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017 to win the IBF and WBA heavyweight titles. Joshua added the WBO belt by defeating Joseph Parker a year later but then lost the titles to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019. He regained them in the rematch six months later and made one defense before losing back-to-back fights to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua had been expected to face Deontay Wilder, but Wilder lost a unanimous decision to Parker in December, opening the door for Ngannou.

Before the main event, Parker overcame two knockdowns to defeat Zhilei Zhang and win the WBO interim heavyweight title. In the two other title fights, Israil Madrimov knocked out Magomed Kurbanov to win the vacant WBA “super” junior middleweight title while Rey Vargas and Nick Ball fought to a split draw in a fight for the WBC featherweight title.

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