Francis Ngannou will box Anthony Joshua next month, but is still targeting a future fight with Deontay Wilder.
Ngannou has made a remarkable transition to professional boxing, meeting Tyson Fury on his debut and pushing the WBC champion close in their non-title bout last October.
Next up for the 37-year-old is former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua, who has registered three wins since his two losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
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Joshua, who beat Otto Wallin in impressive fashion in his last contest, was looking to box Wilder himself.
However, the American suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Joseph Parker, paving the way for AJ to meet Ngannou instead.
That has not dissuaded the ex-MMA fighter from wanting to meet Wilder in future too.
Back in the summer, Wilder stated that he would be open to fighting Ngannou in boxing and MMA
“I’m here for the boxing career and there I have a lot of challenges, a lot of names. For example, the top three guys that I’ve always had are Fury, Joshua and Wilder,” Ngannou told Sky Sports’ MMA Club.
“Wilder better get it together because I’m not done, I want that name on my record.”
After two stoppage defeats to Fury and that below-par performance last time out against Parker, Wilder’s time at the top level appears to be in doubt.
He does still possess phenomenal power though, having secured 42 of his 43 wins to date inside the distance.
UFC heavyweight Tom Aspinall believes Ngannou could beat Anthony Joshua and Wilder!
That makes Ngannou wary of ever writing him off, with the Cameroonian saying: “Two months ago, we were talking about fighting Deontay Wilder in the PFL [Professional Fighters League]. The landscape can change quick. Everything is possible.”
Before boxing, Ngannou built his reputation in MMA, becoming UFC heavyweight champion in 2021 by knocking out legendary titleholder Stipe Miocic before defending his belt against Ciryl Gane in 2022.
Following his acrimonious split with the UFC, he then signed up with the PFL last year, although he has yet to have fought in the promotion.
The fighting talk began as Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou went head to head ahead their fight on March 8 in Saudi Arabia.
Having conquered the MMA world and at the age 37, Ngannou’s focus is increasingly turning towards big money fights in an alternative sport.
“It’s a boxing career, it’s not an MMA career now. We are here talking about my boxing career,” he said.
“In my MMA career, I got to the point that is everyone’s dream. I was MMA champion. There are some great fights to do in MMA but there’s not a new challenge, something exciting in MMA.”