There will be huge boxing action in the Middle East this weekend, as former world champion Anthony Joshua collides will MMA legend Francis Ngannou. It could be a pivotal battle for both stars, with their future prospects of a world title showdown hanging in the balance. 

While the odds could suggest it will be a straightforward assignment for AJ, the recent evidence that we have seen of Ngannou in the ring could point to a difficult night in Saudi Arabia for the British heavyweight.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou Odds

Joshua is heavily favoured in the two-way betting this weekend at ⅕, with a Ngannou victory priced up at 27/10 in the same market. Meanwhile, the Brit is also the preferred choice in the three-way odds at 2/9, with the former MMA star priced up at 34/10. The draw is the three-way betting is the outside selection at BetXchange this weekend at 18/1.

Joshua Requires A Statement Win

Anthony Joshua has forced his way back into the heavyweight title picture over the last 12 months, making this fight against Ngannou a huge opportunity for the Brit to put down a marker. It remains to be seen whether a title showdown with either Oleksandr Usyk or Tyson Fury will materialise, but he must claim victory over his MMA opponent this weekend if he is to have any chance of setting up a potential opportunity to become a three-time world champion.

Joshua was previously in action at the end of last year, and he produced arguably his best performance since capturing the world title for the first time at Wembley. AJ was dominant from the opening bell against Otto Wallin, and eventually scored a fifth-round stoppage. That was a statement win against an opponent that took Tyson Fury the distance, and there is now momentum in his favour after winning each of his last three fights.

Ngannou Bidding For Upset

It is safe to say that Ngannou’s move into the world of boxing is incredibly ambitious, but he retains plenty of interest coming into this bout after moving into the top ten of the official rankings. Ngannou made a name for himself during his time in the UFC, winning the Heavyweight Championship, and was the reigning champion when he departed from the company. His knockout power throughout his career in MMA was his biggest asset, with just five of his 13 fights in the promotion going past the two-minute mark.

Eight of his wins were recorded inside the opening round, and he still holds the world record for the hardest punch ever recorded. His first step into the world of boxing came at the end of 2023, when he came within seconds of ending Fury’s long unbeaten sequence. Despite being registered as a non-title bout, it was hard not to have been impressed by the African fighter, as he floored the Gypsy King in excellent fashion. Many questioned the decision awarded to Fury following that battle, and he could posses the skills that could ask uncomfortable questions of AJ this weekend.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou Prediction

This should be an exciting night of heavyweight action in Saudi Arabia, and it could be a sticky assignment for AJ. Ngannou could cause issues for the Brit, especially if he is able to land big blows. But, AJ”s ring IQ could be important, and therefore, we could see him recording a points success.

Pick: Anthony Joshua at 2/9 with BetXchange.


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