Lennox Lewis isn’t a big fan of the fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, which will take place on March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Lewis does understand the money aspect, and why the fights are happening, particularly from the Ngannou side:
“Ngannou’s fight with Tyson Fury was a spectacle. This fight with AJ is also a spectacle,” he said on social media.
“Hats off to Ngannou for making the most of his opportunities. He’s done nothing wrong. This is just the [heavyweight] division in the year 2024.”
What the former champ does not see is what Joshua gains from a fighting perspective:
“[In my opinion], this fight adds zero credibility to AJ’s resume,” he added. “He’s supposed to win this fight and when he does, what does he gain or learn by beating [Ngannou] in his second [heavyweight] fight? If he loses, then it’s an absolute disaster. The same stood for Fury and it almost cost him everything.”
Lewis is perhaps quite right about this matchup from a competitive perspective, but what did Joshua gain or learn from fighting Otto Wallin or Robert Helenius or Jermaine Franklin in his last three fights, either? What would he have gained from fighting another one of those type guys?
Ngannou did, however you slice it, drop and push Tyson Fury to a split decision over 10 rounds. AJ obviously wasn’t going to get a fight with Fury right now, and he’s already lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk, who is also busy anyway. The March fight was, of course, supposed to be Deontay Wilder, but Wilder laid an egg on Dec. 23 against Joseph Parker.
Joshua is 34 and wants big money fights. There wasn’t one available that would have been near what he’s going to get to fight Ngannou.
Boxing has lots of fights that lack on-paper intrigue all the time, and it always has. No one is saying this is a good thing, but it’s a true thing.