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WATCH: Anthony Joshua Defeats Francis Ngannou with a Second-Round Knockout Victory

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Anthony Joshua denied Francis Ngannou his first boxing victory and moved himself into title contention with a second-round knockout win at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Friday night.

 

Joshua drew first blood in the opening round. Ngannou appeared to be relaxed when the Brit floored him with a clean right hand.

 

Joshua came out in the second round determined to prove that the knockout was no fluke. A devastating right hand found a spot and knocked Ngannou to the ground. The former UFC champion beat the count, only to have Joshua flatten him again, thereby ending the bout.

 

Since losing to Oleksandr Usyk twice in a row, Joshua has been working his way back up to another title shot. Since losing the second bout by split decision, he has defeated Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius, and Otto Wallin.

A victory against Ngannou means a lot, given his success in his professional boxing debut. In his maiden journey into the sweet science, the former UFC heavyweight champion startled the world by losing to Tyson Fury via split decision.

Ngannou was shockingly good, and his fight-changing ability translated to boxing more effectively than most thought.

Analysts were far less impressed with Ngannou’s boxing abilities this time around:

Joshua, who has struggled with confidence at times, was able to overcome it and defeat a formidable, strong opponent this time. If promoter Eddie Hearn is correct, this was only a step toward Joshua reclaiming the world title.

Hearn told Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, “If we get through Friday, which may be our toughest challenge, he’s going to do everything.” “He will defeat Fury and knock him out. But let’s cross our fingers for a happy outcome on Friday.”

Now that Joshua has performed well, the focus could go to a fight with Tyson Fury. Both guys have made their mark in the heavyweight division, but they have yet to battle each other.

Fury is slated to face Usyk in May. If The Gypsy King emerges unhurt from that fight, we could be in for a massive heavyweight title bout.

As for Ngannou, it will be intriguing to see how much further he pursues boxing. He plans to fight Renan “Problema” Ferreira in an MMA battle. Ferreira just defeated Ryan Bader in 21 seconds to retain his PFL belt.

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