Francis Ngannou discovers brutal consequences of Anthony Joshua defeat | Boxing | Sport

Francis Ngannou discovers brutal consequences of Anthony Joshua defeat | Boxing | Sport

Much was expected of Ngannou heading into the bout after his impressive debut performance against Tyson Fury last October. Although Fury won that fight via split decision, many fans believed Ngannou should’ve been handed the victory for flooring the WBC champion and holding his own. The WBC responded by handing Ngannou, a former UFC champion, a spot in their top 10 heavyweight rankings.

Yet that honour has now been retracted after Joshua’s emphatic victory. AJ, a former two-time world champion, twice floored Ngannou before dropping him for a third and final time. Joshua has now won four fights on the bounce and is back in contention for a world title shot.

But Ngannou’s dream of becoming a world champion in both UFC and boxing has been put on hold. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that Ngannou will drop out their top 10 heavyweight rankings. “Yeah, (he will drop) from the top 10 certainly because he was knocked out in two rounds,” Sulaiman told talkSPORT.

Sulaiman insists he does “not regret ranking” Ngannou and has praised his “sensational outing” against Fury. Sulaiman added: “Joshua looked phenomenal, Ngannou looked surprised. He got caught early and could not recover from the next knockdown.

“But to use an analogy, in 1971, Joe Frazier knocked down Ali and beat him for the first time. In the next fight, George Foreman knocks Frazier down seven times and knocks him out in two rounds. Does that erase Joe Frazier’s performance against Ali?”

Sulaiman refused to confirm whether Ngannou will remain in the top 40 heavyweight rankings – insisting it is “a matter for the ratings committee” – but would like to see him stay in the mix. The WBC chief continued: “If it was my decision, I would support him to still be in the top 40 rankings.

“I think we all could see him fighting anyone and still be competitive and possibly winning against rated fighters. So we’ll see what the ratings committee decides in the next couple of days.”

Joshua also believes Ngannou is capable of being competitive in boxing. The Brit said in his post-fight press conference: “He can come again. I told him he shouldn’t leave boxing. He can do well. Remember he’s two fights in and he’s fought the best. He can go a long way if he stays dedicated but it’s up to him.”

And Ngannou has pledged to make a comeback and gain his maiden professional win in boxing. He said after his defeat to Joshua: “You can be sure I’m not done here. It wasn’t my day. He was way better than me. It sucks but it’s the game. We all know that.”

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