Anthony Joshua knocks Francis Ngannou out with second-round finish

Anthony Joshua (R) produced a stunning KO victory over Francis Ngannou (L) in their highly-anticipated bout on Friday, March 8, 2024. Photo: Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 08: Francis Ngannou is knocked down by Anthony Joshua during the Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou on the Knockout Chaos boxing card at the Kingdom Arena on March 08, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua did what Tyson Fury couldn’t against Francis Ngannou. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
In a colossal clash of titans, the highly anticipated bout between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou unfolded in a dazzling display of raw power and strategic prowess, culminating in a spectacular knockout.

The atmosphere inside the packed arena was electric as fans eagerly awaited the explosive showdown between the heavyweight boxing champion and the formidable mixed martial artist.

The first round saw both fighters exchanging thunderous blows, showcasing their respective skills and leaving spectators on the edge of their seats until Johua’s blow knocked Francis Ngannou out big time.

Francis Ngannou began his boxing career with an impressive loss to Tyson Fury. He followed it up with an unimpressive one to Anthony Joshua.

The UFC heavyweight champion-turned-boxer fell via a vicious second-round knock out to former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who scored his fourth straight win since losing his titles to Oleksandr Usyk.

The fight went fine for Ngannou for a couple minutes, but a switch to southpaw opened him up for a knockdown via a hard right from Joshua. Even though Ngannou had little trouble getting up, the tone was set for the short remainder of the fight.

The momentum was firmly Joshua’s at the start of the second round, with Ngannou biting on every feint and not displaying the power that made him a star in the MMA world. Joshua got his second knockdown after a few minutes, then knocked the Cameroonian underdog out cold with a little over 30 seconds remaining.

Ngannou’s boxing record now sits at 0-2 and it’s unclear where he goes from here. He still has an MMA career at PFL, but his boxing future will require some calculation on how to balance the quality of his next opponent. He’s received the kind of opportunities the vast majority of boxers only dream of and there’s no shame in losing to champions, but he’ll need a win at some point.

As for Joshua, he and his promoter Eddie Hearn made clear he was gunning for another title shot against the winner of Fury vs. Usyk on May 18. Ngannou isn’t exactly the kind of opponent to move you up the heavyweight ladder, but, arguably, Joshua was already there.

Additional story from AFP, Yahoo News