Anthony Joshua taunts Tyson Fury as Brit makes retirement admission ahead of Francis Ngannou fight

Anthony Joshua taunts Tyson Fury as Brit makes retirement admission ahead of Francis Ngannou fight

WATCH NOW: Tyson Fury greets Francis Ngannou ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 04/03/2024

- 19:34

The former two-time heavyweight champion will be back in action on Friday

Anthony Joshua has taunted Tyson Fury by insisting that Francis Ngannou beat him in last October's match in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua has also admitted that he believes he is coming 'towards the end of my career' ahead of his latest heavyweight bout.

The Brit will enter the ring on Friday when he takes on former MMA star Ngannou, who only has one professional boxing match to his name.

Ngannou floored Fury in their clash five months ago and only lost via a split decision, with many claiming he deserved victory.

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua says Francis Ngannou beat Tyson Fury in their fight

Sky Sports/Getty

It would have been arguably the biggest shock in heavyweight boxing history, with Fury yet to lose in his professional career.

Joshua is in the camp that believes that Ngannou deserved the judges' decision on October 28 last year.

And he insists fighting Ngannou, who has made his name in MMA, is not a 'gimmick' despite previously using that jibe about his bout with Fury.

Joshua told Sky Sports: "I was watching the Fury and Ngannou fight from home and from what I saw I thought he won.

"It’s not a gimmick, it’s not something that’s benefiting the broadcasters, it’s not just a fight for entertainment purposes.

"This is a serious fight with someone who is prepared and understands the dynamic of boxing and he’s putting up a good fight against the apparently generational great. So, I look at it now as something completely different."

Ngannou's long-term future in boxing remains in doubt and he could make a return to MMA, having joined the Professional Fighters League last year.

But Joshua says he needs to stick around for longer to be recognised as a top boxer in the heavyweight division.

He added: "To be classified as a world-class heavyweight I would say that you have to stay there for a period of time. But I think that he’s an athlete with a lot of potential.

"I think he should stay in boxing in my opinion, he’s got great potential to make waves.

"In terms of the word ‘gimmick’ we can get rid of that. In terms of the whole crossover aspect of what boxing is, it’s not that Ngannou was a gimmick or Fury was a gimmick, but the whole MMA crossing over into boxing I looked at it as a gimmick, but now I can see that there are certain fighters in the MMA world that can box, and he’s one of them.

"It’s good news for us fighters and good news for broadcasters because they've got me and Ngannou going at it in a few days."


Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury

Francis Ngannou knocked down Tyson Fury in their fight last October


Joshua will be entering the ring for the fourth time in the space of 11 months on Friday.

He has bounced back from consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk by winning three fights in a row.

The 34-year-old admits 'anything can happen' despite being the big favourite to beat Ngannou.

And Joshua admits he may not have too many fights remaining after Friday's encounter.

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua will fight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on Friday


He added: "It’s a fight, it’s a 50/50 fight. Anything can happen. Crazier things have happened before. It is what it is.

"It’s a great opportunity for me to go back to work. If I didn’t take this opportunity that’s presented to me, when would I be fighting next?

"When you look at it, I’m not at the start of my career, I'm not at the middle of my career, I’d say I’m probably towards the end of my career.

"Call it whatever you want to call it, I’m just happy to be at work and doing my job and I can’t wait for the next opportunity that presents itself."

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