REPORT | Francis Ngannou changes training camps for Anthony Joshua boxing match

By Josh Evanoff - January 12, 2024

Francis Ngannou will be training in Saudi Arabia for his boxing match against Anthony Joshua.

Francis Ngannou

Earlier this month, ‘The Predator’ signed a deal to return to the boxing ring. Just a few months removed from his split-decision loss to Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou signed a deal to face Anthony Joshua. The March 8th heavyweight clash was only possible due to Deontay Wilder’s upset loss last month to Joseph Parker.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ was originally slated to face Anthony Joshua in March. However, due to his upset loss, Saudi Arabia began to look at other opponents. As a result, the 0-1 Francis Ngannou got the nod. The PFL heavyweight contender hopes to score a rematch with ‘The Gypsy King’ with a win in his return.

It appears that Francis Ngannou is exhausting all of his options to score a win in his return. As first reported by ESPN, the former UFC heavyweight champion won’t be training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas to prepare for Anthony Joshua. Instead, he will be traveling to Saudi Arabia, to train there instead.

Now, that’s not as big of a change as it sounds on paper. While Eric Nicksick won’t be traveling to train Francis Ngannou until next month, the heavyweight will still have Dewey Cooper and others assisting him. While not confirmed, Mike Tyson could also help train Ngannou as he did for his bout with Fury. ‘Iron Mike’ opened a boxing gym in Saudi Arabia late last year.


Mike Tyson and Francis Ngannou

Image via: @miketyson on Instagram

Francis Ngannou to train in Saudi Arabia for Anthony Joshua boxing match

“The fight gods, the gods of boxing, the gods of entertainment came together and made this [fight] happen,” stated Dewey Cooper, in a recent interview with ESPN. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. … Now [Joshua] has no one to fight. Well, guess what? There’s someone that’ll fight him. There’s an MMA fighting champion that’ll fight him.”

The aforementioned Dewey Cooper is set to corner Javid Basharat at UFC Vegas 84 this Saturday. According to the report, the trainer will then fly to the U.K. for the first press conference between Francis Ngannou and Anthony Joshua. From there, Cooper and ‘The Predator’ will fly to Saudi Arabia to train.

Francis Ngannou isn’t the only man in this matchup to have a recent coaching change. Before his most recent bout against Otto Wallin, Anthony Joshua began to work with former Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison. That training arrangement has paid off thus far, as the Brit scored a fifth-round knockout win over ‘All In’ last month.

What do you make of this news? Are you excited for Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua happening in March? Who do you have winning in that heavyweight bout?