Boxing

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua full results: Joshua quickly KOs Ngannou

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua full results: Joshua quickly KOs Ngannou

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – MARCH 08: Anthony Joshua punches Francis Ngannou during the Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou on the Knockout Chaos boxing card at the Kingdom Arena on March 08, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

Francis Ngannou had perhaps the best loss in a professional debut boxing has ever seen. Then he faced Anthony Joshua.

The former UFC heavyweight champion was knocked out cold in just two rounds by the former unified heavyweight champion, who proved to be much more of a problem for Ngannou than WBC champion Tyson Fury had in October.

Ngannou entered that Fury match as a heavy underdog against the champion — one promoter called the matchup "a disgrace" — but he differentiated himself from the many MMA fighters-turned-boxers with a performance that wouldn't have looked out of place from a seasoned heavyweight contender. He managed to knock down Fury in the third round and had the crowd chanting his name in the final round.

He had no such luck Friday in Riyadh. He was knocked down once in the first round and twice in the second, likely ending the Cameroonian's short-lived boxing career.

In a slog of a co-main event, Zhilei Zhang scored two knockdowns against Joseph Parker, but it wasn't enough as Parker walked away with a majority decision to claim the WBC interim heavyweight title. Zhang took his foot off the pedal after both knockdowns, which came in rounds 3 and 6, and Parker stayed busy enough for the points win.

"I feel like we're on the up now, Zhang is a tough man," Parker said in his post-fight interview. "He knocked me down twice. I'm very happy, I'm going to go home and celebrate. Hard work, hard work, hard work. It's an incredible feeling, look where we are. What's next is I'm fighting Zhang again, that's what we're contracted to."

Here's how the entire card unfolded in Saudi Arabia:

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER78 updates

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:47 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:40 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:39 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:39 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    “Don’t leave boxing, don’t do it,” Joshua is overheard telling a still dazed Ngannou

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:37 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:36 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    Ngannou is still being tended to. AJ stayed composed even after the nasty KO completely put Ngannou’s lights out.

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:34 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:34 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    IT’S ALL OVER. ANTHONY JOSHUA JUST KNOCKED OUT FRANCIS NGANNOU COLD! WOW.

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:33 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:33 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    Down goes Ngannou again!!

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:32 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:32 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    AJ looking supremely confident now in the second.

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:31 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    Ngannou switche to southpaw for some reason midway through the first allowing AJ to adapt and land that huge knockdown. 10-8 after Round 1.

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:29 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    AJ knocks down Ngannou two minutes into the fight with a big right hand!

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:27 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    No anthems! Fight is on now!

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:25 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:22 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:21 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

    Francis Ngannou is in the ring and Anthony Joshua is making his ring walk now. Fight might actually begin before 3:40 a.m. local time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:19 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff
  • Sat, March 9, 2024 at 3:18 AM GMT+3Yahoo Sports Staff

Show more updates

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua main card results, highlights

Heavyweight: Anthony Joshua def. Francis Ngannou by KO in R2:

Heavyweight: Joseph Parker def. Zhilei Zhang by majority decision (113-113, 114-112, 115-111)
Featherweight championship: Rey Vargas vs. Nick Ball ends in a split draw (114-112, 110-116, 113-113
Super welterweight championship: Israil Madrimov def. Magomed Kurbanov by TKO in R5
Lightweight: Mark Chamberlain def. Gavin Gwynne by TKO in R4:

Heavyweight: Justis Huni def. Kevin Lerena by unanimous decision (96-94, 96-94, 98-92)

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua preliminary card results, highlights

Super welterweight: Louis Greene def. Jack McGann by TKO at 1:29 of R1:

Heavyweight: Andrii Novytskyi def. Juan Torres by TKO at 2:43 of R1
Super lightweight: Ziyad Almaayouf def. Christian Lopez Flores by decision (60-54)
Heavyweight: Roman Fury def. Martin Svarc by decision (39-37)

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