Tonight’s Live Boxing Results: Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou

By Jay McIntyre - 03/08/2024 - Comments

In an anti-climatic fight, former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) knocked out novice Francis Ngannou (0-2) in the second round on Friday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Referee Ricky Gonzalez immediately halted the fight.

“He can come again,” said Joshua about Ngannou after the fight.

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The knockout came from a devastatingly powerful right hand that folded Ngannou like an accordion, putting him down flat on his back.

It was the second knockdown of round two and the third in the fight. Joshua had dropped Ngannou with a big shot in the first round that had him badly hurt.

– Joseph Parker clinched the interim WBO heavyweight crown, edging out Zhilei Zhang after a grueling 12-round war. Despite hitting the canvas twice, Parker hustled harder, throwing and landing more, to secure the victory with scores of 115-111 and 114-112, while one judge saw it as a stalemate at 113-113.

Parker emerged as the rightful victor, yet he mentioned post-fight about a contracted sequel with “Big Bang.” Frankly, the initial bout in Riyadh didn’t scream for a rerun.

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– WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas (36-1-1, 22 KOs) and challenger Nick Ball (19-0-1, 11 KOs) fought to a 12-round draw. The scores were 114-112 Vargas, 116-111 Ball, and 113-113.

Ball got away with a bogus knockdown in the eighth round when he threw Vargas and then hit him while he was off balance. In the eleventh, Ball dropped Vargas with a left to the head.

The referee did a poor job of policing the fouling by Ball, as he was holding & hitting, throwing rabbit punches, elbowing, and body slamming. It perhaps was the dirtiest fight that the writer had ever seen from a fighter.

You can argue that Ball should have been penalized six to eight times and been disqualified for his fouling. With a better referee working, Ball would have likely been disqualified for his fouling tonight.

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– Junior middleweight contender Israil Madrimov (10-0-1, 7 KOs) scored a fifth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Magomed Kurbanov (25-1, 13 KOs) to capture the vacant WBA 154-lb title. Madrimov caught Kurbanov with a looping right hand to the hand that stunned him in the fifth round, causing him to back up to the ropes.

Madrimov then nailed Kurbanov with four consecutive chopping right hands to the head, causing referee Howard Foster to step in and halt the contest. The ropes held Kurbabov up; otherwise, he would have gone down.

“The stoppage occurred at 2:20 of round five. After the fight, Madrimov said, “I want more belts,” indicating that he wants to face other champions in a unification bout.

“He’s the young Gennadiy Golovkin,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Terence Crawford, Tim Tszyu. He’s coming for all the belts in the division.”

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Lightweight Mark Chamberlain (15-0, 11 KOs) looked like gold tonight, stopping an overmatched Gavin Gwynne (17-3-1, 5 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled ten-round contest to capture the WBA International 135-lb title.

Referee Howard Foster stepped in and halted the fight at 2:46 of the fourth after Chamberlain trapped Gwynne against the ropes and pounded him with a salvo of powerful body shots. Chamberlain’s punch variety was beautiful, constantly changing his shots and throwing nonstop. The way Chamberlain fought tonight, he’d give a lot of lightweights trouble.

Gwynne’s right eye almost completely closed from the second round, but that may have limited his vision.

– Heavyweight Justin Huni (9-0, 4 KOs) defeated the big punching southpaw Kevin Lerena (30-3, 14 KOs) by a ten round unanimous decision. Lerena had Huni out on his feet in the tenth round after nailing him with a left hook while attempting to throw a shot a shot of his own.

However, despite the 24-year-old Huni being easy money to be finished off, Lerena lacked the gas tank to finish him. The scores were 96-94, 96-94 and 98-92. In addition to the tenth round, Lerena had Huni hurt in rounds two and seven but lacked the stamina to stop him.

If Lerena had  better engine, the fight would have been over in the second round, as Huni was ready to be stopped. Can’t say that Huni was impressive in victory. A better heavyweight with superior stamina would have knocked him out quickly tonight.

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–  Louis Greene put an abrupt end to Jack McGann’s night, sending him packing in just 89 seconds with a TKO in the first round. The crowd barely settled in before the bout reached its abrupt conclusion.

– Roman Fury and Martin Svarc duked it out in a strategic tussle that went the distance. The judges saw Fury as the clear dominator, awarding him a victory by unanimous decision with scores leaning 39-37 in his favor.

–  Ziyad Almaayouf and Christian Lopez Flores engaged in a chess match of punches and defenses, with Almaayouf consistently outmaneuvering Flores. After six rounds of tactical fighting, Almaayouf emerged victorious by unanimous decision, sweeping the scorecards 60-54.

Andrii Novytski who, in a burst of energy, dismantled Juan Torres in the third round, stopping the clock at 2:43 with a TKO that had the crowd roaring.

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