British boxing hero Anthony Joshua is set to fight former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia this year, Turki Al-Sheikh has confirmed.
Joshua was hoping to face Deontay Wilder after beating Otto Wallin on December 23 but that bout broke down after The Bronze Bomber lost to Joseph Parker.
AJ will now turn his attentions to Ngannou, who produced a thrilling performance on his professional boxing debut in October, flooring Tyson Fury in the third round before losing on a controversial split decision.
An exact date is yet to be set for Joshua’s fight with Ngannou – but many have tipped it to take place on March 9 – and it will be officially announced at a press conference in London on January 15.
Eddie Hearn previously revealed Ngannou was a possible opponent for Joshua and claimed that a battle between the pair would be ‘colossal’.
Joshua is hoping to eventually face either British rival Fury or Oleksandr Usyk as he continues his quest to return to the top of the heavyweight division.
Fury and Usyk are set to fight on February 14 and Joshua predicts the Ukrainian will come out on top to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
‘I really want to be there for that fight,’ Joshua he told Boxing Social.
‘I’ve fought Usyk. I think he’s a phenomenal fighter, and I think he has a great team around him, and you’re only as good as your team.
‘After being in the ring with him and studying him – still studying him now – I think that he’s the one to edge it. Probably because I’ve experienced his ring generalship and ring craft on two occasions, and I think he’s top-tier.’