Eddie Hearn Addresses Critics, Explains Anthony Joshua's Choice to Face Ngannou

Lennox Lewis, a former boxing great, expressed skepticism about Ngannou's credibility as an opponent

by Sead Dedovic
Eddie Hearn Addresses Critics, Explains Anthony Joshua's Choice to Face Ngannou
© Richard Pelham / Getty Images Sport

The upcoming match between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou scheduled for March 8 is generating a lot of noise. Boxing enthusiasts are excited to witness the clash between these two skilled fighters, particularly after Ngannou's impressive performance against Fury.

Ngannou's surprising resilience against a stronger opponent has sparked interest in a potential showdown with Joshua. The Cameroonian boxer has demonstrated remarkable boxing skills, establishing himself as a formidable presence in the sport. As a result, a fight between Joshua and Ngannou was arranged in Saudi Arabia, set to take place in a March.

The anticipation for this match is high, with Anthony Joshua eagerly looking forward to the challenge and expecting an exciting fight. 

However, not everyone is supportive of this matchup. Lennox Lewis, a former boxing great, expressed skepticism about Ngannou's credibility as an opponent. Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, responded to Lewis' comments with frustration, emphasizing that there are several reasons behind Joshua's decision to accept the fight. 

A key factor is the assurance from 'his excellence' that the winner of this fight will have the opportunity to face the victor of the Fury vs. Usyk match.

“You can’t say that a guy that dropped Fury—and in many eyes’ beat him—is not credible as an opponent. I said to Lennox that one of the big reasons we are taking that fight is because we have been told by His Excellency that the winner of that fight fights the winner of Fury-Usyk. So we get a straight shot at undisputed. So if Fury beats Usyk, which I hope he does, and we beat Ngannou, you’ve got self-made the biggest fight arguably in the history of the sport."- Hearn told Boxing Social

Eddie Hearn is excited about the potential outcomes that could come true. His biggest hope is that Joshua and Usyk will win, and that we will once again watch a match between two great boxers. 

He believes that boxing fans around the world would love to see such an outcome. According to many, it is the most realistic option. 

However, we should not be surprised if things turn out to be the complete opposite, given the surprises in the world of boxing. Hearn calls for caution, and says that it is necessary for Fury and Joshua to jump over their first hurdles.

“You know that if Fury beats Usyk and AJ beats Ngannou, the whole world is going to go ‘Oh my God, it’s AJ-Fury for undisputed.’ So yes there are rematch clauses and contracts have got to be respected but also you know the vision of His Excellency. He’s going to want to deliver for fans worldwide the biggest fight in our generation and it will be right on a plate in front of him. But Fury has got to beat Usyk first and AJ has got to beat Ngannou. And as we saw with Wilder against Parker, things can happen.”

Anthony Joshua on the fights vs Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua emphasizes the importance of staying focused on his upcoming fight against Francis Ngannou and not getting distracted by future possibilities. He stresses the need to treat the Ngannou match as if it were his undisputed title fight, highlighting the importance of a dedicated mindset. 

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua© Richard Pelham / Getty Images

Aware of recent events in the world of boxing, Joshua wants to be careful this time and focus on Ngannou. Putting pressure on yourself about the future is not the best option right now. Then when you completely focus on the match that follows, only then do you have a guarantee of success.

Joshua is emphasizing the current challenge and the mental discipline required to give it full attention. He talked about Ngannou as a tough opponent, showing respect for his abilities and recognizing the difficulty of the competition. 

Francis showed in the previous match with Fury that he possesses top qualities. There are many who were skeptical, given that Ngannou has trained in MMA for years and was an MMA fighter. However, when you have been in martial arts for years, it is much easier for you to adapt. Ngannou adapted in a great way.

Joshua adopts a mindset of concentrating on the immediate task, considering the Ngannou fight as the undisputed title match that requires his complete attention. He recognizes the upcoming match as a tough test for both him and Ngannou, anticipating an intense and exciting battle.

There are still 46 days left until the moment when we will have the opportunity to watch two great fighters in the ring. Many are impatiently waiting for Ngannou's performance to see if he can really be as good as he was in the match against Fury. Many hope that Ngannou will impress them.

Eddie Hearn Anthony Joshua Ngannou