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Joshua vs Ngannou: Fight time, undercard, latest odds, prediction, ring walks tonight

Tonight sees Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou step into the ring for a mouthwatering heavyweight boxing fight in Saudi Arabia.

It’s another huge event in Riyadh, dubbed ‘Knockout Chaos’ in preparation of a high-profile card that also includes Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker going head to head in another eagerly anticipated showdown in the sport’s blue riband division.

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW JOSHUA VS NGANNOU LIVE!

A little over four months have passed now since Ngannou almost shocked the world on his professional boxing debut in Riyadh, knocking down unbeaten WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury before dropping a controversial split decision in their gripping 10-round contest.

What was expected to be an easy night’s work for master tactician Fury against the former MMA superstar and UFC heavyweight champion proved anything but, the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ cut and bloodied by the big-punching Ngannou, whose performance despite the lack of a winning result was an overwhelming triumph that promised an intriguing future in professional boxing.

‘The Predator’ is certainly not one to shirk a challenge and now takes on another marquee heavyweight name in his second bout.

Two-time former unified world champion Joshua is back in form after those pair of back-to-back losses against Oleksandr Usyk that threatened his very career, beating both Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius in rather low-key comeback fights before rediscovering his dominant explosive streak to wipe out Otto Wallin in Saudi Arabia before Christmas.

Deontay Wilder’s shock defeat by Parker on that same bill ruled out an overdue showdown with long-time rival Joshua for now, but the 2012 Olympic gold medalist will still be looking for another decisive display this weekend as he bids to eventually wrestle back some world title stardust and secure a meeting with the winner of the rescheduled undisputed fight between champions Fury and Usyk, which now takes place in May.

Joshua vs Ngannou date, start time, venue and ring walks

Joshua vs Ngannou takes place today, Friday March 8, 2024 at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The main event is expected to begin at approximately 11pm GMT, with the early undercard from 4pm and the main undercard from around 6pm.

As ever, those timings are subject to change.

Zhilei Zhang takes on Joseph Parker in the chief support act of the night in Riyadh (Getty Images)
Zhilei Zhang takes on Joseph Parker in the chief support act of the night in Riyadh (Getty Images)

Joshua vs Ngannou rules

Like Ngannou’s debut against Fury back in the autumn, this is a professional heavyweight boxing contest with usual rules scheduled for 10 three-minute rounds, rather than 12.

Joshua vs Ngannou fight card/undercard in full

Parker will look to build on his stunning win over Wilder when he meets Zhang in an intriguing co-main event on Friday, the WBO interim heavyweight champion fresh off those successive emphatic defeats of Joe Joyce.

Liverpool’s Nick Ball challenges Mexico’s Rey Vargas for the WBC featherweight world title, while there is plenty of other undercard action to look forward to including Roman Fury - the brother of Tyson and Tommy - contesting his fourth professional bout.

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou

Zhilei Zhang vs Joseph Parker

Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball

Israil Madrimov vs Magomed Kurbanov

Mark Chamberlain vs Gavin Gwynne

Justis Huni vs Kevin Lerena

Jack McGann vs Louis Greene

Ziyad Almaayouf vs Christian Lopez Flores

Roman Fury vs Martin Svarc

Andrii Novytskyi vs Juan Torres

How to watch Joshua vs Ngannou

TV channel and live stream: Joshua vs Ngannou is being shown live in the UK via both DAZN pay-per-view and Sky Sports Box Office.

For those who already have a subscription to DAZN, the fight will be available to purchase for £18.99. Otherwise new customers can pay £19.99 to buy the event and get a month’s free subscription to DAZN.

Click here for more details

Live blog: Follow the entire card on fight night with Standard Sport’s live blog.

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Joshua vs Ngannou purses

According to reports by Sport Business Journal, Joshua is set to bank a cool £31million on Friday night.

Ngannou, meanwhile, is expected to receive approximately £16m.

Joshua vs Ngannou fight prediction

Ngannou made a mockery of the widespread predictions that he would be schooled by a boxing masterclass against Fury.

While it was a real off-night from the WBC champion, make no mistake, Ngannou definitely shocked him with his power and underrated abilities.

The problem he has now is that absolutely nobody will be taking him lightly after that stellar and brave display, least of all Joshua.

To be beaten by Ngannou would be an absolute disaster for Joshua and his plans for a huge 2024 that may yet include earning back a world title and either facing a mammoth all-British showdown with Fury or else completing a trilogy against Usyk - or maybe even both.

Joshua cannot afford to get caught up in an all-out war with the very powerful Ngannou (Getty Images)
Joshua cannot afford to get caught up in an all-out war with the very powerful Ngannou (Getty Images)

Though repeated questions have been asked about his technical abilities since the losses to the ultra-skilled Usyk, with fans imploring him to return to the aggressive and powerful style witnessed from the outset against Wallin, he should be able to use his experience and outbox and outthink Ngannou and keep him at range behind the jab, not allowing him the chance to test his chin.

It may not win him many plaudits, but expect Joshua to be cautious and methodical in pursuit of victory - Ngannou’s sheer power makes it simply too dangerous to get caught up in an all-out war, no matter how much the fans may want to see it.

The only way Ngannou wins is surely by knockout if he can wear AJ down and land a huge punch. If it goes the distance, expect Joshua to have his hand raised.

Joshua to win on points.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in results

Thursday’s weigh-ins saw Joshua tip the scales at 252.4lbs, with Ngannou a whopping 20 pounds heavier at 272.6lbs.

Joshua vs Ngannou betting odds

Joshua to win: 1/4

Ngannou to win: 11/4

Draw: 25/1

Joshua to win on points or by decision: 7/2

Joshua to win via knockout, TKO or DQ: 8/13

Ngannou to win on points or by decision: 17/1

Ngannou to win via knockout, TKO or DQ: 7/2

Odds via Betfair (subject to change).