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Anthony Joshua, Francis Ngannou bout, plus undercard, confirmed for March

Joshua, Ngannou bout, plus undercard, confirmed for March
© Reuters
The heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, plus the undercard, is confirmed for March 8 in Saudi Arabia.

The heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou has been confirmed for March 8 in Riyadh.

At the back end of 2023, Joshua did his part when it came to trying to put together a highly-anticipating meeting with Deontay Wilder by defeating Otto Wallin in five rounds.

However, Wilder suffered a comprehensive points defeat to Joseph Parker, subsequently leading to plans for Joshua and Wilder to meet on March 9 to be scrapped.

Instead, Joshua will face former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou, with clamour for the crossover fight becoming justified after Ngannou dropped WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury before being edged out on points in October.

On Monday, the event was confirmed for Friday, March 8, the proposed date being brought forward by a day in order to avoid any conflict with the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix which is also being staged that weekend.

The chief support will see Parker go up against Zhilei Zhang in what is billed as an interim WBA heavyweight title fight.

WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas will put his belt on the line against mandatory challenger Nick Ball, while Gavin Gwynne is scheduled to face unbeaten Mark Chamberlain in a lightweight contest.

A number of other fighters are due to be on the card, including unbeaten Australian heavyweight Justis Huni.

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Anthony Joshua celebrates beating Otto Wallin on December 23, 2023.
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Anthony Joshua to fight Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia