Home Boxing News Trainer dismisses talks of Francis Ngannou’s big tank

Trainer dismisses talks of Francis Ngannou’s big tank

Francis Ngannou. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou does not have the stamina to hang with Anthony Joshua for 10 rounds.

The 37-year-old Ngannou 0-1 from Cameroon will have his second professional boxing bout when he takes on former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua 27-3 (24) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday night.

Much has been made of Ngannou’s performance in his boxing debut when he dropped WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) with a left hook in the third round before losing a razor-thin split decision in their 10-round non-title bout last October.

But Joshua’s trainer Ben Davison says the 34-year-old Brit present a whole different set of problems.

“You have to take into consideration the way Ngannou’s going to approach the fight,” Davison told DAZN. “My belief – all this about, ‘his conditioning’s better than ever; we now know he can do the 10 rounds’. I don’t buy that for one second.

“Totally different doing the rounds against AJ and the way he’s going to approach the fight than doing the rounds against Tyson the way he approached the fight. I believe especially if [Ngannou] comes out to set the pace himself, I don’t believe he’ll last the rounds.

“‘AJ’s’ a lot more versatile than Ngannou. He’s obviously an absolute physical specimen – his physicality brings a challenge by itself. But AJ’s also a physical specimen and that brings a challenge for Ngannou.

“All we’ve done is just helped him understand – we’re big on film study – what’s the likely reaction of the opponent in this situation. ‘When you do this, how is the opponent most likely to respond? How else might he respond?’ A lot of our work is based on scenarios.

“Now, with him having an understanding of how likely this scenario will come off of this, and we work on how to deal with that… the word we’re using at the moment is ‘clarity’.

“We’ve had a look at some of the MMA stuff – I don’t think it’s massively different. He’s not a reckless guy, but if he is reckless, all this about power – yes, of course he punches really hard, but so does AJ, and AJ’s sharper, so if he does wanna come in and be a little more gung-ho I believe that that fight could end quickly.

“We won’t go in there looking for it – forcing it. I’m just convinced he won’t be able to do the rounds with the way that AJ’s going to approach the fight.

“That’s the only thing with only having one fight – that was his approach in that fight; he may make adjustments. We do have to have a look at that. Ngannou, yes he’s done some rounds with Tyson Fury, but he’s never done some rounds with Anthony Joshua, so he needs to have a look as well, because I’m confident he’s going to get a shock himself.

“All this about [Joshua’s] mentality – people look far too much into that. It’s a false narrative. He lost against Andy Ruiz; immediate rematch. He lost against [Oleksandr] Usyk; immediate rematch. That tells you a lot about someone’s mentality.”