Francis Ngannou’s barely-believable excuse for Anthony Joshua KO | Boxing | Sport

Francis Ngannou's barely-believable excuse for Anthony Joshua KO | Boxing | Sport

“Listen, I think we both fight at 3 a.m.,” Ngannou told Helwani. “It’s not like I fought at 3 a.m. and he fought at like midnight or something. We both fought at 3 a.m. What I think, something that’s happened is that they get me to the arena very early. Like my pickup time was 10:30 to go to the arena. And then when we get to the arena, they tell us that we are scheduled around 1:45 a.m. right?

“They come to the locker around 1 and Joshua [was just arriving around 1]. I’m like, ‘OK, we are fighting at the same time, how come I have a pickup time?’ We received a schedule, an email … and then for some reason … I was there at least one hour before. But for the fight, at least two hours beforehand.”

Ngannou then noted that he could have used that time he was in the arena to rest for the fight at home. He explained how in the week leading up to the fight, Ngannou frequently was out and about, seemingly in an attempt to wear him down for the fight.

“They do this kind of trick to get you tired,” Ngannou continued. “I was like cool, I was like, ‘Bro, it’s OK.’ I didn’t know how it was, how important that was, until the fight day that I have to get there two hours before.”

And while Ngannou was worried about his fitness during his fight with Joshua, no amount of fitness training could have prepared him for the Brit’s onslaught. In the latter stages of the first round, Joshua was able to knock down Ngannou in what seemed to be a wake-up call for the former UFC champion.

After escaping the first round with just one knockdown, Ngannou continued to face a barrage from Joshua, getting knocked down a second time and only getting up after the referee had already reached the eight count. Still, the 37-year-old was signaled he was OK by the referee to continue the fight. 

Mere seconds later, Joshua’s right fist connected with Ngannou’s chin, knocking the Cameroonian fighter out for the count. It took Ngannou a distressingly long amount of time and with the aid of an oxygen tank before he was able to stand up again.

After the fight, Ngannou admitted that he was undergoing tests to make sure his fight with Joshua did not have any long-lasting effects. What’s more, he shared just what the atmosphere in the locker room was like before and after his fight with the Brit. 

“I was conscious right after [the knockout,] and since then everything’s been good,” Ngannou said at the time. “I’m still going to runs some medical work, just in case. I remember being in the locker (room) trying to warm up, and bro, it wasn’t going well. I was falling asleep. I’m sweating, but I was falling asleep.

“But I’m sure that’s how some people that I have fought and have beaten have been before … no blame on anybody, the blame here is all on me. it is the game unfortunately. We all knew it could happen (the knockout). I wasn’t seeing it happen like that, but I always knew it could happen. At least, I was always prepared for that.”

After the fight, Joshua asked to fight Tyson Fury next, however the Gypsy King will be facing Oleksandr Usyk for his next two fights. It remains to be seen who Joshua will ultimately fight while he waits for Fury’sm schedule to free up, sometime in 2025. 

Meanwhile, Ngannou will be returning to MMA to face Renan Ferreira, as part of his deal with the Professional Fighter’s League. 

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