Francis Ngannou’s MMA coach, Eric Nicksick, has said that the Cameroonian could find more knockout opportunities in his upcoming boxing match against Anthony Joshua on March 8 than he had against Tyson Fury, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The former UFC heavyweight champion shook up the combat sports world when he scored a knockdown against Fury in their crossover fight October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Though he went on to lose the fight, by split decision, he won the support of many fans because as a boxing debutant, he had Fury on the floor.
Ngannou will no longer have as much of a shock factor heading into a fight with Joshua, but his trainer believes they still have more skills to show off in the match against Joshua in Riyadh.
“Tyson does such a good job of movement, and angles, and kind of just rolling off the punches and things like that,” Nicksick told MMA Fighting.
“I feel like Anthony is going to be there more often, he’s more of a plot fighter, kind of works well behind his jab, but I feel like we can find him there in the pocket rather than having to chase him down or try to hunt him down.
“So there’s some differences there, but by that style of fight, if he’s going to be there in the pocket; Francis will find you.”
In 20 MMA matches, Ngannou scored 17 wins against just three losses, winning 12 by knockout and four by submission. Some of his most impressive wins in the Octagon included knockout wins over Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, and Stipe Miocic.
While he competes in a different combat sport, Joshua, too, is renowned for his finishing ability and has notable knockout wins over Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and, most recently, Otto Wallin.
Since Joshua got into the pro boxing business, one of his main goals has been to unify all of the world heavyweight championship titles and become the undisputed ruler of the division.
The closest he came was when he had collected the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles, needing only the WBC to complete the picture, but lost all three belts to Oleksandr Usyk in back-to-back bouts in 2021 and 2022.