This exciting clash was confirmed during a press conference in London. Joshua, 34, is the former world champion in the IBF, WBA, IBO, and WBO heavyweight divisions. He lost these titles to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021 and failed to regain them in a rematch in August 2022.
Since then, Joshua has claimed victories against lesser-known boxers, the most recent being against Swedish boxer Wallin in Saudi Arabia at the end of December. On the other hand, 37-year-old Ngannou from Cameroon was the UFC's MMA champion in March 2021 before leaving the organization a year ago to partake in his first boxing match last October. Although he lost on points to WBC world champion Tyson Fury, Ngannou made a strong impression. Just five months later, he will return to the ring to face another English boxer.
During the press conference, Ngannou playfully commented on his opponent, saying, "I've heard he has no chin. I don't know if that's true or not. I hope to have the chance to test it, that's my wish." Despite not being a boxing champion, Ngannou expressed confidence in his abilities.
Joshua, more philosophically, stated, "I have to conquer his mind. You have to take someone's soul, their spirit. I'm looking forward to the challenge. He put up an incredible fight against Fury." At the same conference, Turki al-Sheikh, the president of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority, announced that the winner of the Joshua-Ngannou fight might face the victor of the upcoming Fury-Usyk bout. This match, set for February 17 in Riyadh for the unification of titles, highlights Saudi Arabia's emerging status as a boxing hub.