Hearn Sees Boxing Future for Ngannou – With Limits

By Jay McIntyre - 03/09/2024 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn feels that Francis Nganou can still beat many heavyweights in boxing despite being obliterated in two rounds last Friday night. However, Hearn warns that Ngannou (0-2) can’t get knocked out the way he was by Anthony Joshua and stick around the sport.

Ngannou was hit a lot in his pro debut by Tyson Fury, but he’s not known for his power, so he enabled him to get to the end of their ten-round clash without getting stopped.

If it had been a puncher that Ngannou had faced, he likely would have been knocked out similarly as he was against Joshua because he has zero defense. Joshua, trainer Ben Davison, and Hearn noticed that which is likely why they were so eager to take this fight.

The 37-year-old Ngannou, competing in just his second fight in professional boxing, was knocked unconscious by a right hand from the former heavyweight champion Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) last Friday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

For fans of the ex-UFC champion Ngannou, it was scary to watch what Joshua did to him. However, it also showed what can happen to MMA fighters when they choose to compete in crossover events in which they lack a background. They come for the money, but they’re not ready.

Potential, Not Dominance

“He can beat a lot of heavyweights. He just can’t beat Anthony Joshua. Maybe he can beat Tyson Fury, but you can’t get knocked out like that too often,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to the MMA Junkie YouTube channel when asked if Francis Ngannou should stick with boxing after his brutal second-round knockout loss to Joshua last Friday night.

Hearn doesn’t say which heavyweights he thinks Ngannou can beat. He’s not exactly young at 37 to start as a fighter, so he must learn quickly to improve. But given that Ngannou wants only the big paydays, he will continually be put in with fighters who are too good for him and who can punch.

“That’s just a stark reminder between elite-level boxing and MMA,” said Hearn. “Tonight, he came up against a monster, and he’s a monster himself. But in this boxing game, there’s no bigger puncher than Anthony Joshua.

“We’re on our way. We just have to beat the winner of Fury-Usyk, and we’re there,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua could be the greatest heavyweight of this generation.