Joshua vs Ngannou – who wins?

Share this article

We are edging closer and closer to the explosive showdown between former heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, and former UFC heavyweight champion turned boxer Francis Ngannou.

We take a look at the factors that may decide this potentially explosive contest, and check in on the latest odds at the time of writing, compiled using TXODDS data!

AJ and Ngannou will battle it out in the ring on Friday, March 8th, in Saudi Arabia. The fight has been widely anticipated ever since it was announced at the beginning of the year, and the excitement is only growing; sports streaming service DAZN has even released a trailer ahead of the match, which takes inspiration from the popular video game Street Fighter. 

YouTube video

Factors to consider

Height, Reach, Stance 

When it comes to height, Joshua stands a little taller at 6ft 6 (198cm) and Ngannou at 6ft 4 (193cm); however, when it comes to reach it is Ngannou who will have a slight advantage as his reach is 211 cm while AJ’s is a 208cm. 

Additionally, they both fight in an orthodox fighting stance (where fighters stand with their left foot in front and their right foot in the back. Your right hand is connected to your chin or head, while your left hand is in the lead. The lead left hand is the first line of defense to test the range between you and your opponent).  

Previous Record

This will be Ngannou’s second boxing match of his career. When he fought World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury last year, boxing fans were shocked when what was thought to be an easy win for Fury turned out to be a lot more of a closer match than what anyone could have predicted; Fury came out victorious in the end, but most viewers were split on who really should’ve been crowned champion. 

Joshua was once thought to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in recent times and went undefeated for many years until an unexpected loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 when he then lost to Oleksandr Usyk twice a few years later; it had many questioning his ability as a boxer. It seems that ever since, AJ has been quite literally fighting for redemption, trying to build back his name and also gain back his titles. Since losing to Usyk, he has collected three wins against Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin. However, some boxing experts say they were ‘comfortable wins’, alluding to the idea that some of his recent opponents were not very challenging for him, maybe exempting Wallin, whom he beat last December. 

Joshua is the current favourite and has been backed by boxer Amir Khan, UFC champ Jon Jones and other boxing fans due to his experience in the sport; however, it was undoubtedly a massive shock to all viewers when Ngannnou knocked Tyson off his feet in their bout last October. This could be a significant advantage to AJ who now has an insight of the MMA fighter’s boxing technique, as before October nobody knew how he would perform in a boxing match. 

On the other hand, I’m sure the loss has only fueled the Cameroonian fighter. Ngannou has been seen pushing himself to the limit in training ahead of the bout and is famous for having the most powerful punches in the UFC. In a video posted to Francis social media he effortlessly hit the maximum record of 999 on the Gym Shark punching machine, with the caption “think you can hit like me?”

Ngannou seemingly posted this Instagram clip to promote a competition for the gym wear brand but probably also to psych out his opponent. 

The fight is only seven days away, and the countdown is on. Both fighters have a lot to prove; Ngannou will be coming for his first boxing victory and has a little more experience under his belt. Ngannou has also sparred with one of the greatest in the sport, Mike Tyson, but will it be enough to beat AJ’s decade of experience? It’s no secret that Joshua’s redemption journey has been a challenge. It seems he’s just gotten himself back on track. A loss here would derail things for him, while a win could show the world that the old AJ is back. There’s a possibility that the winner of the match will fight the winner of the heavyweight battle between Fury and Uysk, which is set to take place later this year in May after being rescheduled. 

The Odds 

The current average odds, as collected by TXODDS, are Joshua 1.223 and Ngannou 4.027. 

Besides who will be crowned victorious, if you want to place a wager, there are a few other variables to bet on. 

How Many Rounds Will It Go?

It will be hard to predict how many exact rounds; anything could happen in boxing. Joshua will be fighting two rounds less than he is used to; most of his previous fights have not gone the full distance, including his most recent bouts. However, Ngannou is an aggressive fighter due to his experience in MMA and might use his power as an advantage.

Average odds to go the distance 3.740: fight to be stopped beforehand: 1.222

Average odds on

KO Victory 

Joshua 1.500

Ngannou 4.850

UD Victory

Joshua 4.716

Ngannou 19.200