Predator or Prey: Ngannou's Heavyweight Boxing Journey Probably Ends

Last Friday we had the honor of witnessing one of the most interesting fights when 'AJ' monstrously knocked out 'Predator', and now we bring you the analysis of martial arts experts about that match

by Sededin Dedovic
Predator or Prey: Ngannou's Heavyweight Boxing Journey Probably Ends
© Richard Pelham / Getty Images

Last Friday in Riyadh witnessed an incredible boxing spectacle in which Anthony Joshua served a boxing lesson to Francis Ngannou. "AJ" stopped the former UFC superstar in just two rounds with a brutal knockout that left "The Predator" unconscious on the floor.

The shock outcome comes just months after Ngannou gave Tyson Fury a tough fight for the WBC heavyweight title, which Fury won by split decision. Experienced boxer Dillian Whyte also commented on the fatal fate of the Cameroonian.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Whyte expressed more disappointment with Ngannou's performance than admiration for Joshua's victory. "I think the Fury fight gave him a false confidence," says Whyte. "He was so confident in himself that he just stood there and soaked up the punches without trying to defend himself.

'AJ' is a powerful puncher and you can't just stand in front of him with your hands down and change guard in the middle of the fight. I knew Joshua's strength would be too much for him. I thought Ngannou would fight better, to be honest, but...

We're talking about a world champion fighting someone at the level of a local tournament." Whyte has been inactive since his positive doping test in the build-up to his rematch with Joshua in August last year. However, "The Body Snatcher" returns to the ring on Sunday when he faces Christian Hammer in Ireland.

Aside from the shocking outcome of the Joshua-Ngannou fight, Whyte's comments further intrigued the boxing public. His claims about Ngannou's overconfidence and lack of tactical discipline drew sharp reactions from Ngannou's camp.

Francis Ngannou is knocked down by Anthony Joshua during the Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou© null

He delighted the fans with a superb performance against Tyson Fury, only to be brutally grounded in a recent match against Anthony Joshua.

Francis Ngannou did not manage to profile himself as the next big sensation in heavyweight boxing, but at least he achieved his dream of some big matches. And he really fought against two of the best heavyweights at the moment, if we add Olexander Usyka.

Joshua saw right from the start that he didn't have a serious challenger in front of him and knocked him down already in the first round, and it was obvious that he was not doing well. He simply couldn't do anything, and his powerful punches ended up being blocked or avoided by the great movement of Joshua.

He suffered a brutal knockout in the second round, and yesterday he said that he simply did not appear in that match and that it was not the real him: "We all knew it could happen. I never imagined it would happen, but I always knew it was possible.

If anything, I was always up for it. I remember when I was in the locker room and I was trying to warm up, man, it wasn't working. I almost fell asleep. I'm sweating and at the same time I'm almost asleep,'' said Ngaannou on Instagram live.

"I guess that's how the people I fought before, the people I beat, felt that way. That's why I took a few days, I took some time for myself. It took me some time to reflect on what happened in that fight. Kudos to Joshua and his team, they executed the plan perfectly,'' he added.

Although he had a relatively good performance against Fury, it was seen in this match that Ngannou simply cannot match AJ technically, but also tactically. One of the most dominant victories of Joshua and a terrible knockout that Ngannou will surely remember.

For him, a return to MMA is likely to follow, he is an active fighter in the PFL organization, and his next match should be against Renan Ferreira. Many colleagues expressed their opinions on the duel, but no one offered hotter advice than Kamaru Usman, former UFC welterweight champion and longtime friend of Ngannou.

He was very emotional and it was clear that he loves and respects Francis a lot. On his "Pound 4 Pound" podcast, co-hosted by former UFC champion and famous American wrestler Henry Cejudo, Usman said: "When he's ready to talk about it, my brother and I will have a conversation.

We've been corresponding and we'll talk about it. My advice to him will be to take time for himself. At the end of the day, no one can tell him how much time he needs. Like me, like you, he's a professional. He feels when it's time." "He knows what he can handle," Usman continues.

"There is no need to hurry with the decision. As professionals, we know that we want to return to the ring as soon as possible. We want to feel that adrenaline in our veins. We hate defeats and that is what makes us champions."