Joshua Vs. Ngannou: The Allure Of The Dollar
Gareth A. Davies feels that Anthony Joshua is making the right move to fight Francis Ngannou on March 8th, with the winner battling for the undisputed heavyweight championship between Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk victor.
Davies says Joshua-Ngannou is a “massive commercial fight,” which it definitely is, but Lennox Lewis thinks Joshua should be fighting Zhilei Zhang for the chance to fight for the undisputed.
Boxing’s Burnt Fingers
It’s not the same commercial draw as a fight with Ngannou, but it’s one that AJ should be taking to make boxing look like a real sport. The real problem with Joshua fighting Zhang has nothing to do with commercialism.
That’s just an excuse to avoid risky fights. The true issue is Joshua would have a very good chance of losing to Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) and would spoil all the money that an AJ vs. Tyson Fury clash would bring in.
If Joshua wins, he’ll have backed into a fight for the undisputed champion, with his last two wins coming against Ngannou and Otto Wallin. AJ’s two victories before that were against Robert Helenius and Jermaine Franklin.
Those are bottom-ranked heavyweights. Joshua has done zero to rebuild himself to be on the doorstep of fighting for the undisputed. Those guys were ham & eggers, and any decent heavyweight in the division would defeat those same fighters.
Avoiding the Blighted Battlefield?
“No, it’s the right fight. Joshua vs. Ngannou is a massive commercial fight, no question about it,” said Gareth A. Davies to Boxing King Media, reacting to being told that Lennox Lewis says Anthony Joshua should be fighting WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang next, not Francis Nganou, who has fought just once as a pro and lost.
“It really brings the casuals to the sport, and Joshua is #3 in the world now in my view, and so, Lewis’ argument is about the undisputed because the undisputed will be on the line [for the Joshua-Ngannou fight].”
Joshua isn’t #3 in the world in the eyes of many boxing fans. These heavyweights are better fighters than AJ at this point in his career:
– Jared Anderson– Martin Bakole– Zhilei Zhang– Filip Hrgovic
“There’s nothing wrong with him [Joshua] fighting the winner of Fury-Usyk if he beats Francis Ngannou, and there’s jeopardy in that fight as well. I have no issue with it. I’m not saying Lennox is wrong. That’s his opinion,” said Gareth.