Francis Ngannou 'didn't feel' Anthony Joshua punch and makes stance clear on quitting boxing after knockout

Francis Ngannou 'didn't feel' Anthony Joshua punch and makes stance clear on quitting boxing after knockout

WATCH NOW: Anthony Joshua knocks out Francis Ngannou

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 09/03/2024

- 09:19

The 37-year-old has spoken out after his defeat in Riyadh

Francis Ngannou has revealed he didn't even feel Anthony Joshua's knockout punch during their fight in Saudi Arabia on Friday night.

Ngannou had gone into the showdown in Riyadh full of confidence after impressing on his debut against Tyson Fury back in October.

However, the former MMA man was rocked with Joshua flooring his opponent three times during the bout.

Joshua's knockout blow was sensational, with the 34-year-old powerfully knocking his rival to the canvas to continue his recent resurgence.

Francis Ngannou Anthony Joshua

Francis Ngannou has claimed he 'didn't feel' Anthony Joshua's knockout blow during their fight in Saudi Arabia on Friday night


He has now won all of his last four fights and is eyeing a blockbuster showdown with Tyson Fury.

And Ngannou has now revealed he didn't even feel Joshua's knockout blow, lavishing praise on the Briton in the process.

“That was a clean one," he said.

“In fact, I didn’t feel the punch. That’s what the knockout is about. I don’t feel any pain.

"That’s how I know I was knocked out ... It was quite special because it stopped me. It did what Tyson Fury couldn’t do.

"It wasn’t my day, and he’s just way better than me today.

"It sucks, but it’s the game, we all know that. It’s the game.”

It is currently unclear what Ngannou will do with his future.

He has lost his first two boxing matches but, to his credit, they've been against two of the best men in the heavyweight division.

And Ngannou has revealed he is 'not done' with the sport yet, though does admit he could return to MMA.

“As for right now, I think I’m going to go home, get some rest, process what just happened,” he added.

“This has been a hell of a day, since this morning. I’ll process it and see what is the next step.

"But maybe MMA, but you can be sure that I’m not done here [in boxing]. Absolutely not. I’m not done.”

Joshua now seems to be operating at the peak of his powers.

He was written off as a faded force after his two defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, with the Ukrainian schooling his opponent in both of those fights.

And Joshua is unsure if he's now at his 'peak', though does admit he's got roughly five years left of his career.

“If that was me [losing], you’d be saying, ‘Joshua should retire.’ I don’t know if I’m in my peak," he admitted.

"I’m pushing day by day, who knows where it will take me?


Francis Ngannou Anthony Joshua

Francis Ngannou is keen to give boxing another go despite defeats to Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury


"In five years, I won’t be fighting no more, this will be a distant memory.”

Fury was in attendance for the fight in the Middle East, with the Gypsy King applauding Joshua for his performance.

He is currently focused on his own fight with Usyk, which is pencilled in for May 18.

And Fury has admitted he's hoping to fight Joshua twice, providing he's able to get the better of the Ukrainian in just over two months' time.

He told DAZN: "Once I'm done with the rabbit, I'll take on AJ.

"Hopefully, we can do one in Saudi Arabia and one at Wembley!"

Francis Ngannou Anthony Joshua

Francis Ngannou has praised Anthony Joshua after his defeat on Friday night


Fury did, however, admit there was a 'long way to go' before an agreement in struck.

"There's quite a long way to go, there's always been a lot of s*** getting in the way of it," Fury added. "I've got bigger fish to fry, 18 May, then we have a rematch in October.

"After that, if he's still available and I'm available, let's get it on.

“Yes, it goes both ways, he can do what he wants, whoever he fights, he can’t wait a year, inactivity is no good.

“After I beat Usyk, the IBF will be vacant, so maybe he can fight Hrgovic.

“I’m healing well, I’m not even in camp yet, I’ll go to camp at the end of March and I’ll spar then.”

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