Joshua-Ngannou March ring might in Riyadh



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Knockout Chaos in Saudi Arabia Image: Matchroom Boxing

H.E. Advisor Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority, has announced ‘Knockout Chaos’ headlined by the former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a mouthwatering matchup against the mixed martial arts MMA superstar and now heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou on March 8th at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

‘Matchroom Boxing’ stated that the event is being delivered to fans across the world by the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, the British sports promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, the English promoter Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, Goldstar Promotions, and the GIMIK Fight Promotions.

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)-based the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, formerly the General Authority for Entertainment, is a Government department in Saudi Arabia that regulates the entertainment industry of the country. It provides recreational opportunities for all segments of the society in all regions to enrich lives, spread joy and inspire the private sector to build and develop entertainment activities.

The Kingdom Arena is a 47-meter-tall, 220 by 150-meter indoor arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It has a capacity to hold 26,000 spectators. The arena is the new home of the Saudi Pro League (the highest division of association football in the Saudi league system) team Al Hilal Saudi Football Club.

Brentwood (UK)-based the Matchroom Boxing is a boxing promotion and production company that has been active since 1987. They are considered a leader in the industry and have a reputation for high-quality entertainment.

Hertfordshire (UK)-based the Queensberry Promotions is a boxing promoter in Europe. Frank Warren and his son George own and run the company. Warren is also the founder of the British boxing TV channel BoxNation.

The Gold Star Promotions and Events is a United Kingdom-based event management company that works with international and domestic celebrities.

The GIMIK Fight Promotions is a fight promotion created by the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports from around the world.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by the TKO Group Holdings (American media conglomerate), a majority-owned subsidiary of the Endeavor Group Holdings (an American holding company for talent and media agencies). It is the largest MMA promotion in the world as of 2023.

Anthony Joshua is a British professional boxer. He is a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, having held the World Boxing Association (an international organization that regulates the sport of boxing), the International Boxing Federation (a non-profit organization that sanctions professional boxing matches) and the World Boxing Organization (one of four major organizations that sanction professional boxing matches) titles twice between 2016 and 2021.

Francis Zavier Ngannou is a Cameroonian and French professional mixed martial artist (MMA) and professional boxer who is currently signed to the Professional Fighters League (PFL – a global powerhouse in Mixed Martial Arts and the fastest-growing sports league worldwide).

‘Matchroom Boxing’ further stated that previously the WBA, IBF and WBO World Champion Joshua completed a busy and successful year on December 23rd, 2023 when he defeated Otto Wallin (Swedish professional boxer) in five rounds in a headline attraction on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh, a fight which marked his return to the elite end of the Heavyweight rankings.

The former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou entered the world of boxing when he competed in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ against the WBC World Champion Tyson Fury (British professional boxer), which opened the Riyadh Season on October 28th, 2023. The fight boomed into life towards the end of the third round when Ngannou landed a left hook to the temple of Fury’s head and the champion was put to the canvas.

The Riyadh Season is an annual State-funded entertainment and sports festival, started as part of 11 entertainment festivals carried by the Saudi Seasons initiative that was launched in 2019. The Riyadh Season starts in October and ends towards March during Winter and Spring in the Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s capital embraces one of the world’s biggest entertainment events every year during Winter. Since the launch of the Riyadh Season in 2019, the festival has welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience thousands of unique entertainment events, concerts, exhibitions, and dining experiences. The Riyadh Season 2023 commenced on October 28th, 2023 with a spectacular opening ceremony and the historic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, followed up by the ‘Day of Reckoning’ on December 23rd featuring Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder (American professional boxer) vs. Joseph Parker (New Zealand professional boxer) as the headline fights.

Ngannou is winning the respect and admiration of boxing fans across the globe with a remarkable performance. Now, in what will be his second professional fight, Ngannou takes on the other most popular heavyweight on the planet.

Added H.E. Alalshikh, “‘Knockout Chaos’ is one of the most important events to take place in Riyadh Season so far this year, an occasion which will bring together yet more international champions from one of the most popular sports in the world.”

Insists the two-time former unified world champion Joshua, “I will be ready to go once the first bell rings. I will approach this mission with laser focus until the job is complete. I am looking forward to returning to Riyadh and I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the passion they have shown to me and the sport of boxing.”

Ngannou pledges to continue silencing the doubters when he takes to the ring for his second professional fight.

Said the Cameroon-born star, “People have always doubted me and I always proved them wrong. It is clear I am a trouble for the elite boxers and AJ should prepare himself for a battle because I am like nothing he has ever faced. It is going to be another spectacle for boxing fans in Riyadh, only this time I have no intention of leaving it in the hands of the judges.”

Commented Frank Warren, The Hall of Fame Promoter and Founder of Queensberry Promotions, “Friday March 8th in Riyadh will be another monumental event for the sport of boxing made possible by His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and his team, with who we have established a brilliantly productive working relationship. The Riyadh Season has opened up new and thrilling frontiers for our great sport and, in Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, we have a further Heavyweight blockbuster that will surely capture the imagination of fans right across the world.”

Averred Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport and Joshua’s longtime Promoter, “This is undoubtedly one of the biggest fights in boxing and I am grateful to His Excellency, Turki Alalshikh, who shares that view. We’re talking about two giants in Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, two men who look like they are carved out of stone, two devastating punchers. We are ready for another huge event in Saudi Arabia and a night full of drama. After AJ’s demolition of Otto Wallin he steps up against the former MMA Lineal champ. Francis has already proved his credentials in a thriller with Tyson Fury and comes into this clash full of confidence and fire. This is one of the biggest fights in the sport and one that can be over in the blink of an eye. When these two meet in Riyadh one thing is for sure… it will be Knockout Chaos!”

Maintained Marquel Martin, Manager of Ngannou, “Francis has proved he’s the baddest man on the planet against arguably the best boxer in the sport. Anthony Joshua has earned all the respect in the world for his accomplishments, but on March 8th he will realize he’s up against a man who has been through it all in life in Francis Ngannou. Thank you to His Excellency and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for yet another epic Heavyweight showdown.”

To support one of the biggest fight in combat sports history, the event will also feature one of the most impressive undercards in boxing history.

The heavyweight division will take further shape when the Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) defends his WBO Interim world championship against the former world champion Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) from New Zealand.

Rey Vargas (36-1, 22 KOs), the WBC World Champion from Mexico will make a first defence of his belt when he takes on No.1 contender, the Liverpool (UK) featherweight firebrand Nick Ball (19-0, 11 KOs).

Featuring on the card is a Battle of Britain at Lightweight, where the top young contender and IBF European Champion Mark Chamberlain (14-0, 10 KOs) from England (UK) will challenge for the European Champion, Welshman Gavin Gwynne (Welsh professional boxer) (17-2-1, 5 KOs).

Also performing in Riyadh will be the Australian Heavyweight hopeful Justis Huni (8-0, 4 KOs), who will be looking to make his name in the flagship division (opponent details to be included ASAP) plus Cruiserweight prospect Roman Fury (Tyson Fury’s brother) (3-0, 1 KO), British Super-Welterweight Jack McGann (9-0-1, 6 KOs) and the local Saudi Arabian Super-Lightweight Ziyad Almaayouf (4-0, 1 KO).

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