Anthony Joshua a Big Favorite in Huge Bout Against Francis Ngannou

Quinn Allen
By , Updated on: Mar 7, 2024 07:00 PM
Anthony Joshua a Big Favorite in Huge Bout Against Francis Ngannou
  • What: Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou
  • Where: Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • When: Friday, March 8th, 11 AM ET

Friday brings a unique clash in the heavyweight boxing world as Englishman Anthony Joshua steps in the ring with former UFC superstar Francis Ngannou for just his second professional fight in the sport after facing Tyson Fury late last year. This bout is expected to get started around 11 AM ET in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia. Joshua last fought in December in Riyadh, beating Otto Wallin. As for Ngannou, he lost to Fury via split decision but many believed the Cameroonian should've won after giving the Brit a serious run for his money in the exhibition match. This will be another tough one for Ngannou as he faces a former world champion. Below, find the Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou picks.

Before we get into the odds and predictions for this fight, check out the best boxing betting sites and where you can find our sportsbook reviews.

Joshua vs Ngannou Odds

FighterBetOnlineBovadaBetUS
Anthony Joshua-370-325-350
Francis Ngannou+300+260+250

Joshua is a clear favorite here at -370 odds for an implied win probability of 78.72%. Ngannou returns at +300 and has a 25% chance of pulling off the upset in Riyadh.

Not an Easy Fight For Joshua

Joshua is still one of the premier names in the heavyweight division but he's struggled to get to the mountaintop in recent years. AJ lost back-to-back fights to Oleksandr Usyk in the hopes of hopefully facing Tyson Fury, but now the Ukrainian will get that opportunity instead. Joshua did respond after the pair of losses though, defeating Jermaine Parker, Robert Helenius, and Otto Wallin. The plan was for AJ to likely take on Deontay Wilder next, but the American was shockingly beaten on the undercard of the Joshua vs Wallin bout. That left Ngannou as the next-best opponent who could also offer Joshua a hefty payday.

The 34-year-old owns a 27-3 record in his pro career including 24 wins via knockout. Joshua really put a beatdown on Wallin, landing 32% of his punches overall and 80 power punches. Wallin's corner ultimately had to stop the fight because it was getting too ugly. AJ is a very talented boxer with one of the best knockout percentages in all of boxing and if he does win this Ngannou matchup, he could get the opportunity to face the winner of Fury vs Usyk. That will be motivation in itself for him.

Nearing his mid-30s, time is running out for Joshua to be a heavyweight champ. But, getting through Ngannou will not be easy as we saw in his fight with Fury. The MMA standout is a true juggernaut in boxing who kept the Gypsy King on his toes that entire bout. AJ must bring his best if he's going to win this one and chances are, he won't be knocking out Ngannou.

Ngannou is a Juggernaut

We've never seen anyone make life difficult for Fury in his dominant career. But, Ngannou did just that and even put the Englishman on the canvas at one point last year in Riyadh. As previously mentioned, a lot of the sports world thought Ngannou was robbed of a historic victory against Fury because of just how well he did. The ex-UFC heavyweight landed 59 punches in total to only 71 for Fury while actually landing more power punches in the 10-round exhibition. Ngannou's sheer strength overwhelmed the Gypsy King at times.

While Ngannou did come from a boxing background, it was extremely impressive just how good he looked in his debut. Sure, Mike Tyson was in his training corner leading up to the Fury fight, but regardless, it takes serious dedication and hard work to just switch from MMA to boxing and immediately battle one of the best fighters to ever live. Ngannou deserves credit.

In Joshua though, Ngannou is facing a guy who is in the best shape imaginable and has all the motivation in the world to fight for the heavyweight belt. AJ is no pushover and won't be toying with Ngannou like Fury did. It will be all business. Joshua isn't the best defender, so Ngannou will have his opportunities to land some shots. We'll see if they pay off.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou Picks

I'm almost positive no one will be knocked out here. I do believe Ngannou is going to be a guy to watch in the heavyweight division in the coming years, but Joshua's experience will shine through. Take the AJ moneyline for Friday's encounter.

Anthony Joshua moneyline Vs Francis Ngannou
-370
BetOnline

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Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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