Tony Bellew: Ngannou’s Mentality, Not Skills, Are His Weapon Against Joshua

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 02/22/2024 - Comments

Tony Bellew tactfully dismissed Francis Ngannou’s chances of defeating Anthony Joshua in an interview this week, saying his strongest assets are not his fists for their headliner on March 8th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Bellew then entirely ruled out Ngannou pulling off the upset of the former two-time heavyweight champion AJ (27-3, 24 KOs), stating that ‘The Predator’ is “NOT going to beat Joshua.”

Unfortunately for Bellew, there’s a good chance that Ngannou will win this fight because Joshua is flawed, and punch resistance is gone after 11 years of taking heavy shots from Wladimir Klitschko and Andy Ruiz Jr.

It’ll look bad for boxing to have an MMA guy blast out Joshua, but it’s more of an indication that AJ was never the real thing. He was just another machined product to sell to the public but with no substance.

Many believe that Joshua was always protected by his crafty promoter, Eddie Hearn, who steered him through the rough waters of the heavyweight division like a ship’s captain, maneuvering him around the killers, but he’s not infallible. Even with Hearn’s calculated match-making, Joshua was still beaten three times.

Exploiting Ngannou’s Weaknesses

“His strongest attribute is his mental capacity and his mental strength. Not his boxing ability or skills,” said Tony Bellew to iFL TV, talking about Francis Ngannou. “No,” said Bellew when asked if Joshua has to knock him out to win.

“Joshua can box him all day. He’s a far better boxer and far superior. You just got to take away his will, and take away his mental strength. If you keep making someone miss and picking up on their technical flaws because he has them, he has many of them.

“We’ve been blinded by what happened with Fury. Only a fool would believe Fury was in amazing shape going into that. He weighed in a career heaviest and claims he’s in great shape.

No Shortcuts to Undisputed Fight

“He’s not going to beat Joshua. It ain’t happening,” said Bellew when asked if Ngannou beats Joshua, would he rate fighting for the undisputed championship. “You got to go through the rankings the same way Joshua did.

“It’s marginal because he’s fought the #1 heavyweight in his first fight [Tyson Fury], and now he’s fighting the #3 heavyweight [Joshua] in his second fight. It’s just a bit nuts,” said Bellew.

YouTube video