“He’s a Serious Gimmick”: Despite WBC Ranking Francis Ngannou, Anthony Joshua Believes Former UFC Champ Is Not a Boxer

Published 12/20/2023, 5:30 AM EST

Follow Us

via Getty

Anthony Joshua just threw a verbal uppercut. His target? Francis Ngannou, a titan from the UFC realm now stepping into the boxing ring. Despite Ngannou’s 10th ranking by the WBC, Joshua’s not buying it. In a DAZN interview, he made his stance crystal clear. But he didn’t dismiss everything about Ngannou.

America’s Favorite Video Today

“Entertaining,” he admits but stops short of calling him a competitor. This isn’t just a comment; it’s a critique of the evolving boxing landscape. Joshua’s words hint at a larger battle, one between the sport’s storied tradition and the lure of blockbuster spectacle.

Anthony Joshua questions Ngannou’s boxing credibility

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Francis Ngannou, originally a force to be reckoned with in the UFC, recently showcased his prowess in the boxing ring against Tyson Fury. His performance, though not victorious, was notable; Ngannou even managed to knock Fury down once, surpassing expectations in a sport where he’s a newcomer.

Amidst this backdrop, Anthony Joshua’s conversation with Ade Oladipo on DAZN sheds new light on Ngannou’s boxing journey. Joshua begins, acknowledging the entertainment factor: “From an entertainment point of view, yeah.” However, when Oladipo probes about competitiveness, Joshua’s response turns skeptical. “Does it lead me towards a championship? It doesn’t,” he asserts, emphasizing the importance of traditional pathways to boxing success.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest Boxing stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Oladipo questions further, “I don’t think it does.” Joshua agrees, adding, “So just on that basis… Can he beat me? I don’t think he can.” This blunt assessment reflects Joshua’s confidence and his perspective on the sport’s integrity.

The conversation then shifts to the changing nature of boxing. “That’s the game we’re in now. The division, the whole aspect of boxing is changing,” Joshua observes. Yet, he stands firm on his principles, “I’m still going to focus on keeping the foundations of boxing solid.”

When Oladipo mentions Ngannou’s WBC ranking, Joshua remains unconvinced. “He’s not a boxer. Like me fighting in UFC is gimmicky… He’s not a boxer; that’s why he’s a serious gimmick.” Here, Joshua differentiates between a seasoned boxer and a crossover athlete, underscoring the nuances that define true boxing talent.

This exchange captures not only Joshua’s views on Ngannou but also touches on the broader dynamics at play in the world of heavyweight boxing. As Joshua prepares to face Otto Wallin, Deontay Wilder just dropped a bomb about his potential bout with Joshua.

Wilder’s uncertainty over Joshua showdown

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Deontay Wilder, known as ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ remains doubtful about a potential face-off with Anthony Joshua, despite years of back-and-forth discussions. This skepticism dates back to 2017, with initial talks between Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, and Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, failing to materialize into a fight. Wilder, who has often accused Joshua of avoidance, expresses a mix of anticipation and doubt: “It’s the closest that it’s ever been in history right now,” he told Sky Sports Boxing.

Yet, he’s not entirely convinced, adding, “I’m not hundred percent sure that it’s gonna happen.” His wariness persists, rooted in the belief that until they actually face each other in the ring, Joshua’s commitment to the bout remains questionable.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Joshua’s stance on Ngannou’s boxing capabilities and Wilder’s enduring skepticism towards a bout with Joshua underscore the diverse perspectives shaping the future of boxing. What do you think is the ideal balance between boxing’s rich heritage and its evolving entertainment-driven nature?

Watch this story: Confirmed Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder Fight Card

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Mrinal Mishra

1,355Articles

One take at a time

"Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring," said Sugar Ray Leonard. Growing up engrossed in sports, it was the compelling narrative of the Mike Tyson documentary that first pulled me into the magnetic world of boxing.
Show More>

Edited by:

Arijit Saha

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today