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Ngannou warns AJ: If I land my biggest punch, it’s over!

Francis Ngannou says he will prepare for his fight with Anthony Joshua the same way he readied himself for Tyson Fury as he insists he can knock out the former unified heavyweight champion.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou floored the undefeated Fury in the third round of his professional boxing debut in Saudi Arabia last October before losing via split decision.

The Cameroonian returns to Riyadh on Friday night to take on Fury’s fellow Briton Joshua, live on Sky Sports Box Office from 6pm with the ring walks for the main event expected at around 11pm.

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Watch this epic arcade-style blockbuster fight promo ahead of Joshua vs Ngannou, which is live on Sky Sports Box Office on Friday

Ngannou told Sky Sports: “Fury is very slick. He has a lot of footwork, body movement. But, at the end of the day, it’s the same. What I trained for Fury, the same will be for Joshua.

“You just have to notice his power and strength. I think it’s basically the same thing with footwork and all that stuff.”

‘Almost everyone in this division can knock anyone out’

Ngannou continued: “Of course [I can knock Joshua out]! I believe if I land on anyone, I will knock them out. The question is how to land? That’s the hardest thing.

“Almost everyone in this division can knock anyone out, but how do you land or carry that power and energy from first round to the fifth round to 10 rounds and still hit someone hard or knock somebody out after all the fatigue?

“It’s a chess game.”

‘I’ve built my fighting spirit as high as anyone else’

Ngannou’s move into boxing came after he won 17 and lost just three of his 20 MMA bouts, with the 37-year-old the reigning heavyweight champion when he departed UFC.

“I didn’t have any experience in boxing but don’t make any mistake,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of experience in life and a lot of experience fighting. I’ve built my fighting spirit as high as anyone else.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou
Image: Joshua and Ngannou will fight in Saudi Arabia on Friday night

“It wasn’t a concern for me that I know I don’t have any boxing experience. But I know I can fight.

“It’s fighting instinct and I’ve heard somewhere that you are born a fighter, you don’t become a fighter.

“I’m feeling good. I’m very happy and very excited. It’s been a tough eight weeks, so to get here I feel like I did everything that should have been done. It’s amazing and I can wait for the fight now.”

Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou takes place on Friday March 8, live on Sky Sports Box Office with the main event expected around 11pm. Book Joshua v Ngannou now!

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