Anthony Joshua knocks out Ngannou in Riyadh showdown

Anthony Joshua delivered a spectacular knockout of Francis Ngannou in Round 2 of their heavyweight bout Friday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A powerful right hand landed cleanly on the former UFC heavyweight champion’s chin, rendering him unconscious. This dominant victory marks Joshua’s fourth consecutive win after experiencing back-to-back losses.

After Ngannou regained consciousness, officials at ringside provided him with oxygen. The 37-year-old Ngannou was participating in only his second boxing match.


England’s Joshua, aged 34, knocked Ngannou down in the first round with a powerful right hand. Ngannou seemed shaky after getting back up from the knockdown. In the second round, Joshua scored another knockdown with a punch that affected Ngannou’s balance.


Just moments after rising from the second knockdown, Ngannou was knocked down for the final time by a well-placed straight right from Joshua. Ngannou’s leg bent awkwardly as he collapsed to the canvas, weighing 272½ pounds.


Joshua, a former two-time heavyweight champion, commented, “On the journey to the championship, you always need to stay focused. This fight was a detour from that mission. However, when I saw Ngannou and his fight against Tyson Fury, I realized he’s a formidable opponent, and I wanted to challenge myself against him.”

“He’s an inspiration… He’s a great champion. This doesn’t take away anything of his capabilities because in boxing it’s one or the other. He can come again.” Ngannou shared on social media after the defeat, expressing on X, “Sorry guys I let you all down. Today was a bad day in the office but tomorrow will be another day. Thank you all for the love.”

Anthony Joshua knockout defeats Ngannou in Riyadh showdown
Anthony Joshua knockout defeats Ngannou in Riyadh showdown

Ngannou (0-2) surprised many in October when he faced Fury, ESPN’s No. 1 heavyweight, and knocked him down in Round 3, though he ultimately lost by split decision. A native of Cameroon, Ngannou is regarded as one of the UFC’s best heavyweights of all time, making his ability to compete with the top heavyweight boxer in the world remarkable.

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Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) had been scheduled to fight former champion Deontay Wilder on this date, but Joseph Parker’s upset win over Wilder in December changed the plans. On the same card, Joshua secured a fourth-round TKO victory over Otto Wallin.

With Wilder out of the picture, Ngannou entered his second professional boxing match against one of the sport’s top competitors, a move unprecedented in his career. However, this time around, his performance didn’t match the success of his first boxing outing.


“He believed in his dreams and pursued them,” Fury remarked. “He earned a significant amount of money, which is wonderful to support his family. He had a remarkable journey.

If he wants to continue boxing, he should keep going… He’s still undefeated as a champion in MMA. Just because he lost tonight, he can return to MMA and dominate that world again… Keep your spirits up.”


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