Joshua says Ngannou is the biggest challenge of his life

Anthony Joshua said his upcoming fight against former MMA artist Francis Ngannou will be the “biggest challenge of his life.”

Not a ‘gimmick fight’

Joshua and Ngannou faced off on camera for the first time during the Face Off interview for DAZN.

Both heavyweights disclosed how the March 8 fight in Saudi Arabia came to fruition.

“I asked for this fight,” said Ngannou. “I watched him [Joshua] fight [against Otto Wallin] and then I made a tweet right away.

According to the 37-year-old, he knew that he will face Joshua as soon as Deontay Wilder lost to Joseph Parker in December.

“I know he was going to fight Deontay Wilder and I saw and opportunity there, I was calling for this fight. This is an opportunity where I can slide in.” 

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Joshua said he is looking forward to a challenge with Ngannou.

 British fighter previously mentioned that he expects an “undisputed fight” when he steps in the ring with the French heavyweight.

Joshua’s perception of Ngannou changed after the latter came close to Tyson Fury via split decision in October.

“It’s not something that I think is right, crossing over when I’m still chasing heavyweight glory,” he said.

“When they saw what happened with his last fight [against Fury], the situation with Wilder, this opportunity presented itself. I never turn down a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”

When asked if he sees this as a gimmick fight, this was Joshua’s answer.

“No, it’s the biggest challenge of my life.”