Can Ngannou Handle the Heat? Ben Davison Predicts a Pace Problem

By Jay McIntyre - 03/05/2024 - Comments

Anthony Joshua’s coach, Ben Davison, feels that AJ’s fast pace will cook Francis Ngannou, wearing him down and leading to his defeat this Friday. Davison believes that Joshua’s relentless pace will force the 270+ lb Ngannou overheat, and fall apart as their ten-round scheduled fight progresses.

Davison’s thoughts align with promoter Eddie Hearn, who noticed that Ngannou looked tired during his fight against Tyson Fury, but could go the full distance due to ‘The Gyspy King’ backing off.

The X-Factor: Joshua’s Chin

The central question remains: will Ngannou get to Joshua’s glass chin before his stamina gives out on him? In his fights against Wladimir Klitschko, Andy Ruiz Jr., and Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua was hurt at the mid-point. It’s a race against time for Ngannou. Can he get to Joshua’s porcelain chin before his stamina betrays him?

If Ngannou lands his big power shots on Joshua early, it could be an early night for the former UFC champion. In that case, Hearn would have to go back to the drawing board with Joshua for another three rebuilding fights to bring him back.

“We won’t go in looking to force it, but I just don’t think he’s going to be able to do the rounds the way that AJ approaches the fight,” said trainer Ben Davison to DAZN about his thoughts on Francis Ngannou not be able to handle the fast pace that Anthony Joshua sets this Friday.

It’s surprising that Davison is so out in the open about his game plan for Joshua, but maybe he feels Ngannou can’t do anything about it. Ngannou’s cardio isn’t there; it won’t matter if he’s been tipped off to Davison’s game plan. He’ll still gas out.

Of course, knowing what Joshua will be doing can help Ngannou by having them fight harder to score a knockout early. Joshua is probably going to play it safe, box, jab, and move to avoid getting hit. It’ll be the Wladimir blueprint, which is boring but effective.

“Not because he’s physically able to do the rounds. The approach that AJ is going to take and the lack of experience that Ngannou has, the full confidence that he did ten rounds [against Tyson Fury], and the manner that he done them, I do see him struggling to do the ten rounds the way AJ is going to approach the fight,” said Davison.

Physicality and Versatility

“It’s totally different doing the rounds against AJ the way he approaches the fight than doing the rounds against Tyson, the way he approached the fight. I don’t believe that if he comes out and sets the pace, he [Ngannou] won’t last the rounds.

“AJ is a lot more versatile than Ngannou. He’s a physical specimen. His physicality brings a challenge all by itself, but AJ is also a physical specimen, and that brings a challenge to Ngannou,” said Davison.

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