Promoter Frank Warren has suggested the winner of Anthony Joshua’s bout with Francis Ngannou could challenge either Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed world heavyweight title later this year.
On Monday, it was confirmed that Joshua would face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on March 8.
Ngannou knocked undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury down three rounds into his stunning professional boxing debut in October, but went on to suffer a controversial split-decision defeat.
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Joshua’s fight with Ngannou will take place three weeks after Fury faces WBO, IBF, and WBA belt-holder Usyk in a huge unification bout in Riyadh, with that meeting set for February 17.
While most expected that contest to be followed by a rematch regardless of the result, it has now been suggested that either Joshua or Ngannou could be in line for a title tilt after their own matchup.
The official #JoshuaNgannou poster has dropped
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) January 15, 2024
Speaking at a press conference in London after the Joshua-Ngannou fight was confirmed, Turki Alalshikh of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority said: “You will see the result of this match will connect with the result of 17 February – this is our idea.”
Warren then said: “For the winner, the big fight’s happening on February 17, with Tyson and Usyk.
“The winner of that, would we like to see them with the winner of this fight? Everybody in boxing would love to see that.
“So everybody has got something to aim for. It’s huge a moment of excitement for boxing.”