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Eddie Hearn Reveals date for Joshua, Ngannou bout


Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has stated that the British-Nigeria is ready to face Francis Ngannou on December 23.

The Cameroonian-French professional mixed martial artist made his professional boxing debut last Sunday, facing Tyson Fury in a heavyweight showdown in Saudi Arabia.

The ‘Gypsy King’ was spared what would have been one of the biggest upsets of all time after the night ended in a highly unconvincing split decision win over the 37-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion.

Ngannou’s third-round knockdown of Fury, who was lacklustre throughout, sent shock waves around the world.

Hearn disclosed to the BBC that he had been in touch with Ngannou’s representatives, saying “All of a sudden that fight between two giants, they’re carved out of stone, it becomes a massive fight. We’re definitely willing to consider it.”

Even though Ngannou wasn’t able to capitalise and came out on the wrong end of a close split decision, he has the moral victory and is now seen as a legitimate contender at the world level.

Joshua is still in a rebuilding phase of his career after back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. That left Joshua without any of his belts and has come back with a steady points win over American Jermaine Franklyn in April followed by a seventh-round knockout victory over Robert Helenius in August.

Speaking to Boxing News on Friday, Hearn was asked about whether his former two-time world champion would face Ngannou.

“We’d take that fight on December 23, no problem.”

He then explained Joshua is already looking to fight again before the end of the year.

“We’re looking at that date for Joshua anyway. Maybe I’ll reach out to them and say listen, if you’re looking for an opponent for Francis Ngannou, AJ’s ready, on December 23, no problem at all. I’d like more time promotionally to make that fight what it is, one of the biggest fights out there, but no problem.”

At this point, it would be a fight that generates plenty of interest as Joshua makes his way back into the world title contention.

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