Anthony Joshua Favored Over Francis Ngannou on Friday

  • Who: Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Date: Friday, March 8, 2024
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. ET
  • Location: Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • How to Watch: DAZN

A heavyweight boxing contest between former WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will take place on Friday at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Anthony Joshua (27-3) is 3-1 with three knockout wins since he lost his titles to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021. Joshua’s other setback during that time was a split-decision defeat to Usyk in their rematch in August 2022. The 34-year-old Joshua has 24 wins by knockout, one knockout loss, and two decision defeats.

Francis Ngannou (0-1) is coming off a surprising performance in his first pro boxing fight. In October, Ngannou took WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 10 full rounds, knocking down the champ in the third round before losing a split decision to Fury on the scorecards. Ngannou has 12 knockout wins as an MMA fighter. All three of his MMA losses have come via decision.

Before we look at the 10-round heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, check out the best boxing betting sites, where you can find the best boxing picks.

Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou betting picks

FightersBovadaBetOnline ReviewBetUS ReviewMyBookie ReviewBetNow Review
Anthony Joshua-350-350-350-600-350
Francis Ngannou+275+260+250+350+250

Anthony Joshua betting breakdown

According to The Ring, Anthony Joshua enters Friday’s matchup against Francis Ngannou as the No. 3 rated heavyweight. He trails Usyk and Fury in those ratings. A win over Francis Ngannou won’t move him up those ratings, but a loss to Ngannou will likely drop him. It would also lower his asking price in his next outing. With that in mind, and with the knowledge that Ngannou is taking his boxing career seriously, expect Joshua to be fully prepared for this fight, something that Fury might not have been when he faced Ngannou in 2023.

Joshua is serious about his boxing career. Yes, he has power and size, but he also has speed. He has also shown in recent fights the ability to move well, counter well, and put out combinations when the opportunity is there. What stands out about Joshua is that he is always looking to make slight changes and improvements to his game plan. He is not a fighter who rests on his past accomplishments.

If Joshua fights Ngannou like he did against Otto Wallin in December, he should have a good fight in Riyadh. Ngannou looked sharp in that fight. He was aggressive but not sloppy, choosing his shots and placing those punches well. Most of all, Joshua was confident in that scrap.

Anthony JoshuaTO BEAT FRANCIS NGANNOU
★★★★★
-350
Bet now

Francis Ngannou betting breakdown

Francis Ngannou enters this fight brimming with confidence. He not only went the distance with Fury, but he put the heavyweight champ on the canvas and came close to pulling off an upset victory, with judges Alan Krebs (95-94) and Juan Carlos Pelayo (96-93) scoring the fight for Fury, and Ed Garner giving it to Ngannou with a 95-94 mark.

Ngannou is a big, powerful man with a strong chin. Ngannou does not have Joshua’s hand speed, movement or overall boxing skills, but he has one-punch stopping power, and he is skilled enough to find openings to land heavy blows that can score, do damage, and possibly end the fight. However, one thing Ngannou will not have in this fight against Joshua is the element of surprise. Perhaps Tyson Fury took Ngannou lightly. Even if that’s true, Fury didn’t have tape on Ngannou to watch before their fight. Joshua has that heading into Friday. That means that unless Ngannou adds new wrinkles to his game, Joshua will be much more prepared for this fight than Fury, which is not great for the former UFC champ.

If there’s one big difference for Ngannou, expect him to be better trained and better prepared for a 10-round battle.

Francis NgannouTO BEAT ANTHONY JOSHUA
★★★★★
+260
Bet now

Best bets for Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou

If one is looking for betting value for the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou fight, the pick to make is for the betting underdog, Francis Ngannou, to win via knockout. I don’t think that will be the outcome. I expect Joshua, who is the betting favorite, to play it safe in this fight, taking the opportunities Ngannou gives him without putting himself in danger. With that, the betting pick is for Anthony Joshua to beat Francis Ngannou by decision.

Anthony JoshuaTO BEAT FRANCIS NGANNOU
★★★★☆
-600
Bet now

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.