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sportsmata.com > Boxing > Anthony Joshua faces Ngannou on 8th March in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Joshua faces Ngannou on 8th March in Saudi Arabia

On March 8, Anthony Joshua is scheduled to go up against former MMA fighter Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia. This match comes on the heels of Joshua’s impressive fifth-round victory over Otto Wallin as he aims to continue his resurgence in the heavyweight division.

Cameroonian-born Ngannou, who recently made his professional boxing debut, caught attention in October by knocking down WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, ultimately losing in a closely contested decision. The fighters are set to participate in a press conference in London later today.

Interestingly, both Joshua’s successful match against Wallin and Ngannou’s surprising performance against Fury occurred in Riyadh, indicating Saudi Arabia’s growing prominence as a preferred host for high-stakes boxing events, offering substantial purses to attract top-tier talent.

In addition, Saudi Arabia is set to host another significant bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on February 17, with the potential to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999. This move underscores the country’s increasing influence in the global sports arena, having secured rights to host various high-profile events such as the 2034 World Cup, the LIV Golf circuit, a Formula One Grand Prix, and football’s Club World Cup.

It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia’s extensive investment in sporting events has drawn attention and criticism from some quarters, with detractors accusing the country of using sports to bolster its international image in the face of scrutiny over human rights and environmental issues.