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Anthony Joshua To Fight Ex-UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou In Saudi Arabia –

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Anthony Joshua To Fight Ex-UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou In Saudi Arabia -

Two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a boxing bout in Saudi Arabia, organisers said.

Joshua had announced plans to face ex-WBC champion Deontay Wilder if they had both won while fighting on the same card in Riyadh on Dec. 23.

However, Wilder was handed a stunning upset defeat by New Zealand’s Joseph Parker last month, before Joshua clinched a knockout win over Otto Wallin later that night.

“Tonight we confirm it’s a Done Deal,” Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn on Friday said in a post on social medial platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou collide on a huge night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – press conference Jan 15 in London with full details dropping soon!”

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ESPN reported the fight would be held in early March, weeks after WBC world champion Tyson Fury faces WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

Ngannou, who vacated his heavyweight belt after a contract dispute with UFC and exited as a free agent in January last year, made his pro boxing debut against Fury in October.

The Cameroonian-French fighter lost on a split decision in the non-title fight, but almost delivered an upset when he dropped Fury to the canvas with a left hook.

Following his loss to Fury, Ngannou was ranked number 10 in the heavyweight division by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Muhammad Ali’s ‘Thrilla in Manila’ trunks poised to sell for $6 million at auction –

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Muhammad Ali’s ‘Thrilla in Manila’ trunks poised to sell for $6 million at auction -

Muhammad Ali’s white satin boxing trunks from his epic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ bout with rival Joe Frazier went up for auction on Thursday and are expected to sell for upwards of $6 million.

Auction house Sotheby’s said the trunks from the October 1975 bout in the Philippines, which was won by Ali and marked a brutal finish to perhaps the greatest trilogy in boxing history, will be up for auction until April 12.

The trunks, which feature a black trim at the waistband and black piping running down the side of each leg, are inscribed by Ali’s assistant trainer and corner man, Drew “Bundini” Brown and signed by Ali in black Sharpie.

According to Sotheby’s, the trunks were auctioned in 1988 from Bundini’s storage locker after his death for around $1,000 and have since made their way through the auction market. They were last auctioned in 2012 for just over $150,000.

In the sweltering heat of a Philippine afternoon, the world of boxing witnessed a brutal spectacle as Ali and Frazier fought each other for the third and final time in a clash of wills that etched itself into the annals of sporting history.

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In what proved to be a frightfully punishing encounter, Ali retained the heavyweight crown when Frazier’s trainer would not allow his fighter to answer the bell for the 15th round.

After the most trying fight of his storied career, Ali said it was the closest thing to death that he had ever felt.

In the first of three bouts between the two boxers, Frazier broke Ali’s unbeaten record when he knocked him down with a left hook in the 15th round en route to winning by unanimous decision in March 1971.

Ali got revenge when he outpunched Frazier for a unanimous 12-round decision in January 1974, setting the stage for the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ nearly two years later.

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Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship and controversial stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died in June 2016 aged 74 of septic shock due to unspecified natural causes.

-Reuters

 

 

 

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Anthony Joshua’s Smile To The Bank Ruins Canadian Rapper! –

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Anthony Joshua’s Smile To The Bank Ruins Canadian Rapper! -

Anthony Joshua’s dramatic defeat of Francis Ngannou may have fetched the former two-time world heavyweight boxing champion a purse of over $50 million by the time the pay-per-view revenue is added to his take home, but it has caused a loss of fortune to a famous Canadian rapper, Aubrey Drake Graham who lost a staggering $615,000 in bet.

Known for his love of placing enormous bets on sporting events, Drake had earlier posted on Instagram that he was betting $615,000 on Ngannou to beat Joshua outright.

 

“Betting on a scary man,quipped the superstar artist.

Before then, won at least $1.8m betting on Nigerian UFC fighter Israel Adesanya to beat Alex Pereira in a middleweight title clash last year.

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Drake placed a $400K bet on Adesanya to knock out the Brazilian. That was exactly what happened as the Lagos-born fighter shook off the pressure of losing thrice in a row to the same opponent to knock him out.

But in October 2022, Drake lost $800K betting on Barcelona to beat Real Madrid. The bet was a loser as Real Madrid won that game 3-1.

Drake was not alone among combat sports fans who believed that Ngannou could get the job done against Joshua; if his bet had clicked, he would have won an impressive $1.9 million.

However, it wasn’t meant to be this time around, as fortune did not favor him.

Despite recording some significant wins and losses over the years from betting activities, Drake has gained notoriety for what is now known as “the Drake Curse.”

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Fans have accused him of cursing athletes and teams after being pictured with them before games or matches.

The curse reportedly affected numerous victims, such as quarterback Johny Manziel, UFC fighter Kamaru Usman, tennis star Serena Williams, and even the entire Kentucky Wildcats basketball team in America.

 

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How Joshua Floored Ngannou Thrice In Two Rounds And Secured Knockout –

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How Joshua Floored Ngannou Thrice In Two Rounds And Secured Knockout -

Former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua floored Francis Ngannou three times in two rounds at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena on Saturday in a knockout win that put him right back in the reckoning for another title shot.

The big Briton sent the 37-year-old Cameroon-born former UFC heavyweight champion, a two-fight professional boxing novice, to the canvas in the opening round with a straight right to the chin.

Boxing – Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou – Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – March 9, 2024 Anthony Joshua poses after winning his fight against Francis Ngannou REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge Purchase Licensing Rights

The “Knockout Chaos” fight then lived up to its billing in spectacular fashion as Joshua sent him crashing again in the second, first with a right-left combination and then an explosive right after he had beaten the count.

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The referee stepped in and stopped the fight, with Joshua declared the winner by knockout victory and Ngannou out cold and receiving treatment before getting back, stunned, to his feet.

Far more had been expected from Ngannou after he knocked down WBC champion Tyson Fury in his first bout in Riyadh in October and went on to lose on a split decision, but Joshua was merciless.

“It is what it is,” he told the crowd, teasing out the words.

Fury, who fights Ukraine’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in a rescheduled unification bout in Riyadh on May 18, was watching from ringside.

“I’m just here to fight. I’m going to go back to my cage, lock myself away, and then I’m going to be let out when it’s time to fight again,” said Joshua, hungry for a chance against the winner of the Usyk v Fury fight.

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Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn sent out his own call: “There’s a brilliant fighter down there in Tyson Fury. Please beat Oleksandr Usyk, because you will get the biggest fight of all time,” he said.

“That is one of the most destructive knockouts I’ve ever seen.”

Joshua said he had told Ngannou he was an inspiration and he could come again.

“I told him he shouldn’t leave boxing, he can do well,” he said. “Remember, he’s two fights in and he’s fought the best. He can go a long way if he stays dedicated.”

Fighting earlier on the undercard, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker beat Chinese heavyweight Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang to take the WBO interim title on a majority points decision despite suffering two knockdowns.

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Parker, who beat American former WBC champion Deontay Wilder in Riyadh in December, picked himself up after a straight left in round three and came back from a left-right combination in the eighth.

The ringside judges scored the fight to Parker 113-113, 114-112 and 115-111.

“We are contracted to have a rematch, so we will do it again,” said Parker.

Britain’s Nick Ball and Mexico’s WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas earlier fought a split-decision draw despite the challenger twice flooring the belt-holder.

-Reuters

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