Francis Ngannou picks winner from Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury fight

The two heavyweights had contrasting performances against the MMA star (Pictures: Getty)

Francis Ngannou has backed Anthony Joshua to beat Tyson Fury if the two heavyweights ever finally face off, while AJ has hit back at the Gypsy King over ‘disrespectful’ comments he made.

Joshua landed one of the most devastating knockouts of his career in Saudi Arabia on Friday night, twice knocking down former UFC champion Ngannou before flooring him with a stunning right hand in the second round.

Ngannou had looked confident and assured on his pro debut against Fury back in October, even knocking down the lineal champ despite going on to lose by split-decision.

Some boxing fans even felt Ngannou had edged the contest against a rather disinterested Fury, but the Cameroonian was totally outclassed on Friday night and was left needing oxygen in his corner after being on the receiving end of a barrage of thunderous punches from Joshua.

Fury is now tied up with a unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk in May, which includes a rematch clause for a second bout in October, meaning a long-awaited showdown between the Gypsy King and Joshua will likely have to wait until 2025.

When that fight does finally take place, few people are better placed to predict the winner than Ngannou after taking on both fighters over the last six months, and he feels Joshua has the edge.

Asked by iFL TV who would win in a fight between Fury and Joshua, Ngannou had a long think and replied: ‘I don’t know, I would give it to AJ for right now.’

Knockout Chaos - Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou: Fight Night

Ngannou was hit with a venomous right hand (Picture: Getty)

On whether it was Joshua’s power that surprised him most, Ngannou added: ‘I think he got the right timing. It was about the timing, mostly.’

After the fight, and despite labouring against Ngannou himself, Fury downplayed Joshua’s win and the former two-time heavyweight champ was not best pleased with his long-time rival’s attitude and comments.

Speaking to iFL TV, Joshua said: ‘F*** Tyson Fury. I don’t like trash-talking people but I heard him say something like, “I’m here to do commentary about these two sausages” or something like that.

‘Bro, that guy that I fought [Ngannou], that he also fought, is an ex-UFC heavyweight champion. A phenomenal story, someone who has changed his life around. It’s just too disrespectful. So forget anything about [Fury] right now.’

Asked about people backtracking over Ngannou’s worth as an opponent, Joshua added: ‘I get the logic, I do get the logic because it’s like you say one thing and then you backtrack. If you say it, stand on it.

‘But that’s how the world works, and that’s why we do what we do because it creates a narrative, it creates controversy. It is what it is, bro. I don’t like speaking about what people are saying about me and fights. You can’t make everyone happy.’

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