Ricky Hatton 'worried' about Anthony Joshua with 'mini breakdown' cited ahead of Francis Ngannou fight

Ricky Hatton 'worried' about Anthony Joshua with 'mini breakdown' cited ahead of Francis Ngannou fight

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou fight nears

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 06/03/2024

- 09:51

AJ will be returning to the ring this Friday looking to continue his impressive form

Ricky Hatton has admitted he's 'worried' about Anthony Joshua ahead of the Briton's fight with Francis Ngannou this Friday.

And the former boxing star has also admitted he felt AJ was having a 'mini breakdown' following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk back in 2022.

Joshua is a man on the up ahead of this Friday's bout, having won all three of his fights last year.

The 34-year-old overcame Jermaine Franklin Jr, Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin to silence some of his critics and boost his reputation in the process.

Boxing Ricky Hatton Anthony Joshua

Boxing icon Ricky Hatton has admitted he's worried about Anthony Joshua ahead of Friday night's fight with Francis Ngannou


Joshua will be going up against a formidable opponent in Ngannou, however.

The 37-year-old impressed on his boxing debut back in October, pushing Tyson Fury all the way as he narrowly lost via split decision.

And Hatton fears for Joshua, admitting the Briton's enthusiasm could come back to bite him in Saudi on Friday night.

“It is a very interesting fight because AJ, as much as we love him, he can get hit and hurt," he told Instant Casinos.

"This could be a tricky night. Normally, from a defensive point of view, Fury is a lot harder to hit than AJ.

"I mean, AJ can sometimes be in front of you a little bit too much, which worries me in the Ngannou fight a little bit.

"There's every chance that if Ngannou lands clean he could win, but if you're asking me where my last pound would go, I think it'd be on AJ.”

Joshua lost via split decision when he went up against Usyk two years ago.

And Hatton has admitted the 34-year-old's passion concerns him, too, saying he felt as though the Briton was having a 'mini breakdown' in the immediate aftermath of the fight.

“[Joshua’s actions] after the Usyk fight were very worrying for me," he added.

"Even on the night after the fight, his head obviously wasn't in the right place.

"He looked like he was having a mini breakdown when he threw the belt into the crowd and he got the mic and made that speech.

"I was in Tenerife watching it. I’ve met AJ loads of times and we're all proud of him but I was screaming at the TV for someone to get the mic off him.

"Get your arm around him and get him back in the changing rooms. Come on, who's looking after him here?

"It was a little bit worrying to be honest with you.”


Anthony Joshua

Ricky Hatton felt Anthony Joshua was having a 'mini breakdown' when he lost to Oleksandr Usyk in 2022


Hatton does feel, however, that Joshua deserves credit for rebuilding his career.

The Watford-born star was written off as a faded force when he lost to Usyk, especially after previously falling to defeat against both the Ukrainian and Andy Ruiz Jr.

But with three wins under his belt, Joshua has shown he belongs among the elite.

Hatton said: “AJ has come back strongly.

"His performances have been getting better and better all the time.

Boxing Joshua Ngannou

Boxing fans from all over the world are poised to tune in for Anthony Joshua's blockbuster bout with Francis Ngannou


"I think he's going to shine against Ngannou.

"I think Fury took Ngannou lightly, he didn't come in in the best of shape.

"Tyson was very easy to hit because he didn't come in as trim as he normally does, so his upper body movement wasn't good and Ngannou was able to nail him.

"I think this is a fight where AJ can shine.

"He does have great boxing ability, he's won an Olympic gold medal and he’s a two-time heavyweight champion for a reason.”

You may like