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Anthony Joshua Faces Ngannou In Saudi On March 8



Anthony Joshua and Ngannou

Anthony Joshua is gearing up for a highly anticipated showdown with former MMA fighter Francis Ngannou, and the stage is set in Saudi Arabia on March 8. Fresh off an impressive victory over Otto Wallin last month, Joshua, the former heavyweight world champion, is determined to solidify his resurgence in the boxing scene.

Cameroonian-born Francis Ngannou entered the realm of professional boxing in October, making a memorable debut by knocking down WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, despite ultimately losing in a closely contested decision. Both fighters are poised to officially announce their upcoming bout in a press conference scheduled later today in London.

Notably, the Saudi capital Riyadh, where Joshua triumphed over Wallin and Ngannou made waves against Fury, has become a preferred destination for major boxing events. The oil-rich Gulf Kingdom offers substantial purses for significant bouts, making it an attractive choice for promoters seeking to stage high-profile matches.

In Riyadh, not only will Joshua and Ngannou face off, but Tyson Fury is also slated to take on Oleksandr Usyk on February 17 in a fight that could determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999. The stakes are high, and Saudi Arabia has established itself as a lucrative hub for major boxing spectacles.

Saudi Arabia’s prominence in hosting major sporting events is evident, securing rights for the 2034 World Cup, hosting the LIV Golf circuit, organizing a Formula One Grand Prix, and hosting football’s Club World Cup. While the country has lavished billions of dollars on these endeavors, it has faced criticism from its critics who accuse it of “sportswashing.” This term refers to the utilization of sports events to improve the international reputation of the nation, which has faced widespread condemnation for its human rights and environmental record.

As the boxing world eagerly anticipates the clash between Joshua and Ngannou, the significance of Saudi Arabia in the global sports landscape continues to grow. The upcoming press conference in London will undoubtedly add more excitement and speculation to what promises to be a major event in the boxing calendar.

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