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Former UFC star predicts winner of Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua

Former UFC star predicts winner of Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony JoshuaDAZN
The two heavyweights meet next month.

Former UFC fighter Dan Hardy believes that Francis Ngannou will beat Anthony Joshua.

The two heavyweights come together on March 8 live on to contest a huge clash in Saudi Arabia.

It is only the second pro boxing bout for the MMA fighter, who knocked Tyson Fury down in the third round of their fight last year, and was a split-decision loser.

Joshua’s last fight was against Otto Wallin in December, winning with a convincing stoppage performance.

The winner of Joshua vs. Ngannou could well end up meeting the victor of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, who contest the undisputed heavyweight status on May 18, also live on

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hardy can see Ngannou coming out as the winner.

"I'm going with Ngannou genuinely," he said.

"I picked Fury in the last one. I felt Fury was going to be able to catch him fifth or sixth round once he started to get tired. But this for me is a much better match up for Ngannou.

"I feel like AJ's easier to hit, easier to rattle psychologically and I feel like because of the unknown commodity of Francis Ngannou there's going to be a shock to the system."

He continued: "There's an unquantifiable power about Ngannou and that's concerning because he can punch through a decent guard. I feel like AJ's going to feel punches coming through his guard and they're going to surprise him a little bit.

"Because Ngannou will let them go and try and really hurt him. But they've both got to respect one another's power. If Ngannou gets tired, he gets over-extended, he leaves himself open, AJ's going to pick him apart and it could look like a very easy night for him.

"AJ knows how to land and deliver a punch. He's very precise. He's very powerful as we know."

He warned Joshua, saying: "He has to give Ngannou the respect; that he's improved since the last fight and of course with the confidence that he can do 10 rounds.

"I expect to see a busier Francis Ngannou. I don't know whether that's a good thing necessarily because the busier he is, the easier he is to hit.

"Of course, AJ is a supremely talented boxer. Very skilled. Good basics. Good fundamentals. So on paper he should be able to pick Ngannou off and wear him down, keep him at a distance and not over-extend himself.

"But that's also what Tyson should have done as well and it's easier said than done.

"I do wonder whether the confidence of Ngannou is going to make AJ's life a bit easier. But at the same time that confidence can undermine AJ's confidence as well, especially if he has a rough round or two."

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