Anthony Joshua Calls Fight With Francis Ngannou A Gimmick

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The former two-time heavyweight champion initially dismissed the idea of fighting Ngannou but will now face the ex-UFC champion on March 8.

This comes after Ngannou’s impressive debut against Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s surprising loss to Joseph Parker, which disrupted his two-fight deal with Joshua.

Eddie Hearn, who manages Joshua, shared the boxer’s thoughts on the fight a few weeks after he defeated Jermaine Franklin last April. “I spoke to AJ about the fight. He likes it, and he gets it, but he’s very focused on his boxing career at the moment. He doesn’t want to derail that to do something a little bit gimmicky,” he told The Mac Life.

Joshua explained why his views on the fight changed after Wilder’s loss to Parker during his knockout victory over Otto Wallin. He said: “That was my route, to stick in boxing.

“They spoke about this fight before and I said ‘Nah, it’s a gimmick fight.’ It’s not something that I think is right. Crossing over when I am still chasing heavyweight glory.

“When they saw what happened with his last fight and the situation with Deontay Wilder, this opportunity presented itself. I have never turned down a challenge and I’m looking forward to it. It’s the biggest challenge of my life.”
Ngannou laughed off Joshua changing his tune on the fight by saying: “It’s still a gimmick fight, the fight is a gimmick.

“I think it’s very funny because I think of a gimmick fight like… this is a crossover. It’s my second pro fight.

“In my first two boxing matches I am taking on two of the top three heavyweight boxers of this generation. It’s a good challenge and it’s very interesting.”