Home Boxing News Robert Garcia predicts victory for Anthony Joshua, says Francis Ngannou will not...

Robert Garcia predicts victory for Anthony Joshua, says Francis Ngannou will not hear final bell

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou. Photo credit: Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will be facing a different beast in Anthony Joshua than he did in Tyson Fury.

The 37-year-old Ngannou from Cameroon made his boxing debut last October when he took on WBC heavyweight champion Fury 34-0-1 (24) in a 10-round non-title bout in Saudi Arabia, losing a razor thin split decision after dropping the 35-year-old Brit in the third round with a big left hook.

The showing was impressive enough to earn Ngannou the number 10 spot in the WBC rankings as well as another monster payday, this time against former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua 27-3 (24).

The fight will take place over 10 rounds at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8.

Robert Garcia, who trained Joshua for his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) in October 2022, believes Fury was underdone for his fight against Ngannou and didn’t prepare properly for the fight against an opponent he did not see as a threat.

Californian Garcia says Britain’s Joshua, 34, will not be making the same mistake as his countryman.

“I think [Ngannou] had a great performance because Tyson Fury, I don’t think he trained one single day for that fight,” Garcia said to iFL TV.

“I think [Fury] thought it was going to be a walk in the park and it came to be that Francis was in great shape and was hungry to prove everybody wrong, and he did.

“But I think it was more because Fury was just not in shape, didn’t train, [and] was not ready.

“I think Anthony Joshua is always in shape. Anthony’s a very dedicated fighter, I think Anthony will knock Francis out.”

Joshua has been through a number of trainers since splitting with his original coach Rob McCracken after his first loss to Ukrainian southpaw Usyk. He teamed up with Garcia for one fight, then moved on to another American trainer in Derrick James of Texas for a couple of fights.

Late last year he drafted in Fury’s former coach Ben Davison to train him for his bout against Otto Wallin 26-2 (14) in Saudi Arabia in December. He looked back to his aggressive best as he stopped the Swedish southpaw after five one-sided rounds.

It was his third fight for the year and the activity seemed to have benefited him. The Ngannou fight will mark his fourth outing in less than 12 months.

“After the fight we had with him, myself and Rudy Hernandez told him and his team, ‘keep him busy, stay busy’, because that’s what a fighter needs,” Garcia remembered.

“That’s what someone like Anthony Joshua needed. Him fighting once a year was wrong for them, so we talked about keeping him busy and even though it’s not with me, I’m happy they kept him busy last year, three times last year and he’s got a fight coming up soon, so they’re keeping him busy and that’s the best thing they could have done.”