Home News Anthony Joshua has a two-inch height advantage and an estimated net worth...

Anthony Joshua has a two-inch height advantage and an estimated net worth almost 20 TIMES that of Francis Ngannou, but The Predator boasts a £421k Rolls Royce and his powerful punches can reach further… TALE OF THE TAPE for Friday's fight

6
0

As the hours tick down to Anthony Joshua‘s blockbuster showdown against Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia, the anticipation is only rising with the two fighters potentially just one win away from competing for the undisputed world heavyweight title.

For Ngannou, a former UFC champion, this will be just the second time he’s stepped foot in the boxing ring following his narrow and controversial defeat to Tyson Fury via split decision in October.

Meanwhile, Joshua has been building himself back up following a double defeat to Oleksandr Usyk, with the 34-year-old heading into this bout after successive victories over Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin.

The Watford-born star is the heavy favourite for this crossover fight, but as shown by Ngannou’s performance against Fury, it is unlikely to be as simple as that.

Ahead of their hotly-anticipated clash on Friday, Mail Sport takes a look at how Joshua and Ngannou compare in and out of the ring. 

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will meet in their much-anticipated fight in Saudi Arabia

Fighting record

Joshua shot to stardom after winning Gold at the 2012 Olympics and has had two spells as unified heavyweight champion of the world.

His move into boxing came after some initial struggles early in his adult life, with Joshua put on remand in Reading Prison in 2009.

Meanwhile, in 2011 he was charging with possession with intent to supply a class B drug and sentenced to a 12-month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty.

Following his Olympic success, Joshua started his professional boxing career with a TKO against Emanuele Leo in 2013.

He began to make waves in the fighting world, with his first 20 victories coming in 20 fights, all of which were by KO or TKO.

This included a memorable bout against Wladimir Klitschko, with Joshua beating the Ukrainian legend in the 11th round.

The victory saw him win the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles, while he also retained his IBF heavyweight title. 

However, his first setback came in 2019 when Joshua lost by TKO to Andy Ruiz Jnr, before he avenged the defeat later that year to win back his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. 

But, following a victory over Kubrat Pulev, he then lost to successive blockbuster showdowns to Usyk, first by unanimous decision and then by split decision. 

This saw him lose his titles, although he enjoyed a productive 2023 with consecutive wins over Franklin, Helenius and Wallin – with Joshua defeating Helenius through a KO, before Wallin was forced to retire after just five rounds. 

This all means Joshua has won 27 of his 30 fights, with 24 of these victories coming via KO, while he has suffered three losses.

At the age of 34, this feels like a crunch year for Joshua and his legacy, with the Brit admitting last year that gone are the days when boxing ‘was for fun’. 

Anthony Joshua shot to stardom after winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London

Anthony Joshua shot to stardom after winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London

He has enjoyed a hugely successful 12-year career so far, spending time as a world champion

He has enjoyed a hugely successful 12-year career so far, spending time as a world champion

But he suffered a big setback following his double defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022

But he suffered a big setback following his double defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022

His opponent on Saturday has taken an arduous journey to the ring. Ngannou, 37, grew up in the Cameroonian village of Batie, where he was raised by a single mother.

He was forced to walk six miles to go to school every day and was digging sand mines when he was just 10-years-old.

As he got older he made the journey from Cameroon to the north of the continent – travelling through Nigeria, Niger and Algeria before reaching Morocco.

Ngannou eventually settled in Paris, where he met the trainer Fernand Lopez, who would convince him to take up MMA instead of boxing.

‘For me I just started in MMA for fun. I had time to train so I thought why not train MMA as well,’ Ngannou reflected when speaking last year.

‘And then things went very fast and they start asking did I want to fight. And I said “Yes let’s do it”.

‘I didn’t realise how fast it was going until the coach said to me “We’ve got a UFC contract for you”.’

After winning five of his opening six mixed martial arts, Ngannou penned his first UFC contract and quickly set about making an impact in the promotion.

Six successive wins where he showcased his punching power earned him a heavyweight title shot against Stipe Miocic, but he suffered a blowout loss in 2018.

Ngannou claimed the heavyweight championship at UFC 260 after stopping Stipe Miocic

Ngannou claimed the heavyweight championship at UFC 260 after stopping Stipe Miocic

The former UFC heavyweight champion showcased his power with a series of knockouts

The former UFC heavyweight champion showcased his power with a series of knockouts

In his first boxing bout against Tyson Fury, he put in a strong performance but narrowly lost

In his first boxing bout against Tyson Fury, he put in a strong performance but narrowly lost

He rebuilt from the defeat by beating Miocic and Derrick Lewis in brutal fashion, with a series of knockout wins. The Predator won three of his next four fights in under a minute, including a victory after just 20 seconds against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 2020.

The 37-year-old took the decision to leave the UFC in January 2022 after defending his title against Ciryl Gane.

His UFC career ended with a record of 17 wins and three losses, including 12 knockouts. Ngannou has since signed with MMA promotion PFL, who have allowed him the chance to test his arm in the boxing world.

After his impressive display against Fury, he will hope to back that up this weekend, although reports claim whatever happens, Ngannou is planning a return to MMA, with the PFL set to announce his next opponent later this month.

Career earnings 

As it stands, Joshua has earned a mammoth £200million from his boxing career. 

That figure is expected to rise even further once his £100m deal with DAZN fully kicks in, which will see all of his future fights broadcast on the channel until he retires. 

Joshua was said to be worth £115m in 2020, but that is reported to have increased significantly over recent years, with hugely lucrative fights against Usyk and Wallin.

His biggest payday was his rematch against Ruiz Jnr when he pocketed £50m, while he earned a similar amount from his two fights with Usyk.

Reports have claimed Joshua will earn around £15m from the upcoming bout with Ngannou, which is similar to what he raked in from his huge title fight against Klitschko in 2017.  

Reports claim that Joshua has earned a mammoth £200million from his boxing career so far

Reports claim that Joshua has earned a mammoth £200million from his boxing career so far

Ngannou pocketed just £600,000 in his biggest fight in the UFC against Ciryl Gane in 2021

Ngannou pocketed just £600,000 in his biggest fight in the UFC against Ciryl Gane in 2021

For Ngannou, UFC and MMA doesn’t pay as much as boxing, meaning he cashed in just shy of £4m during the course of a 14-fight stint with the MMA giants.

In Ngannou’s biggest-ever fight against Gane in 2022, he pocketed just £600,000.

He turned down a reported £6m-a-fight offer from the UFC to remain with the promotion, with the deal claimed to be the most lucrative in the promotion’s history.

The MMA star instead opted to walk away and sign a flexible deal with the PFL, even though he insisted that decision was down to ‘freedom not money’.

However, the Cameroonian netted about £8m from his October bout with Fury and he is expected to bring in a further £15m from his showdown against Joshua. 

Lifestyle, partners and kids

Although he is one of the most successful and famous British sporting figures over the past decade, Joshua is believed to be single.

His private life has generally been kept relatively quiet during his career, although he does have a son named Joseph ‘JJ’ Joshua, who was born in 2015.

The mother of Joshua’s child is dance and yoga teacher, Nicole Osbourne, with the pair previously in a relationship, but they do remain on good terms. 

In a previous interview, Joshua reflected on his role as a father and joked he was too soft.

‘I started off as super-dad and then that slowly went out the window and to be honest he’s watching way too much TV now,’ he said.

Speaking on his relationship status, he also said: ‘Not everyone likes the decisions I make but I’ve got to make my own decisions. Decisions I make impact others. And my time training means there is not much time for girlfriends either.’

Meanwhile, Joshua – who still lives with his mum as he wants to spend as much time as possible with her – is a hugely marketable athlete and has sponsorship and endorsement deals with several major companies.

This includes Under Armour, Beats Electronics, DAZN, EA Sports, Hugo Boss, Jaguar and Lucozade.

Joshua has previously outlined his determination to become a billionaire and he also boasts a large car and property portfolio.

In fact, his garage is believed to be worth around £1m and includes a £150,000 Range Rover SVO – which was custom made with his name inscribed in the tread plates – and a £93,000 white Jaguar XJR. This is one of his favourite cars that he treasures so dearly – because it makes him stand out.

And that’s before we even mention his £600,000 Rolls Royce Phantom stretch, his £146,000 Mercedes v8 BiTurbo or his relatively ‘modest’ Audi A3 S-Line. 

Elsewhere, Joshua has already made moves towards becoming a promoter and has signed a handful of young stars to his management company 258 Management. 

But he’s also waded into the housing market by setting up 258 Investments – which run his property empire for him which is said to include over a dozen properties, including some that are worth more than £1m.

This has helped Joshua to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and the heavyweight is regularly pictured enjoying holidays all over the world.

Joshua is a marketable athlete and has deals with several major brands such as Under Armour

Joshua is a marketable athlete and has deals with several major brands such as Under Armour

Joshua and his beloved mother Yeta, who he says he still lives with in her London home

Joshua and his beloved mother Yeta, who he says he still lives with in her London home

Joshua owns a £150,000 Range Rover SVO

He even boasts a £600,000 Rolls Royce Phantom stretch

Joshua owns a £150,000 Range Rover SVO and even a £600,000 Rolls Royce Phantom stretch

Joshua is often seen enjoying lavish holidays in Dubai and relaxing with his entourage

Joshua is often seen enjoying lavish holidays in Dubai and relaxing with his entourage

Meanwhile, Ngannou has been romantically linked to MMA star Miesha Tate, with reports they have been dating in recent months. Neither Ngannou or Tate has confirmed the speculation. 

Tate had previously uploaded a photo on social media of Ngannou and her two children, who are from a past relationship with MMA fighter Johnny Nunez.

The American, who was previously the UFC bantamweight champion, captioned the photo ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet is really just a gentle giant!’

Ngannou – who is not known to have any kids – owns both a Rolls-Royce Ghost and a Phantom, with the latter worth a reported £421,000.

However, his endorsements and sponsorships have been somewhat limited compared to Joshua’s over the years.

Ngannou put the blame for this on UFC as he blasted the promotion for restricting the commercial potential of fighters.

Taking to Twitter in 2022, he said: ‘Fighters are ripped off with sponsorship. It’s a huge source of revenue for us but the company keeps exploiting that for their own benefit.

‘I understand that the sport needs to look good with uniforms but we should at least have a right for a minimum of two approved sponsors for in the octagon.’

This was a key reason for the Cameroonian signing with PFL, as he hit out at the ‘lack of freedom’ for fighters within UFC.

The Predator is reported to now have deals with PFL, Gymshark, Phya, CBD Research Labs, Cryo Pain Relief and The Fight Game, and these are only likely to keep on growing with a strong performance against Joshua.

Ngannou has been romantically linked to MMA star Miesha Tate, but nothing is confirmed

Ngannou has been romantically linked to MMA star Miesha Tate, but nothing is confirmed

Ngannou's public presence and endorsement deals have risen since he moved into boxing

Ngannou’s public presence and endorsement deals have risen since he moved into boxing

Ngannou has showed off one of his Rolls Royce cars, which is believed to be worth £421,000

Ngannou has showed off one of his Rolls Royce cars, which is believed to be worth £421,000

Trainers

Joshua has been with a fair few trainers over his career, and the past few years have seen the heavyweight churn through different options.

In fact, for his victory over Wallin in December, he teamed up with Ben Davison, who was AJ’s fifth coach in just two years.

However, after an impressive display, Joshua outlined his desire to stick with Davison for the foreseeable future, with his fellow Brit helping him in the build-up to his bout with Ngannou.

Speaking in January, Joshua explained his reasoning as he said: ‘The reason I was able to gel with Ben is because he doesn’t try to change your style. He kind of looks at your attributes and adds to what you’re good at.

‘I went to a stage where I was trying to change my style: a bit of back-foot boxing, box behind the jab, stick and move, not be explosive, control the pace, and stuff like that. 

‘But Ben was like: “That’s not your body type! You’re a f***ing big unit, you’re explosive, go and knock f***ing people out”. Basically, work to your body type. So, we got along in that sense. He gets it.’

Joshua seems settled with trainer Ben Davison (left), who was his fifth coach in just two years

Joshua seems settled with trainer Ben Davison (left), who was his fifth coach in just two years

Ngannou was mentored by boxing icon Mike Tyson, but he won't be around for the Joshua bout

Ngannou was mentored by boxing icon Mike Tyson, but he won’t be around for the Joshua bout

Ngannou’s hopes of causing a seismic upset against Fury were boosted by the presence of boxing legend Mike Tyson, who mentored the MMA star ahead of his debut in the ring.

Former heavyweight world champion Tyson, who is widely viewed as one of the greatest of all-time, worked on Ngannou’s boxing technique, footwork, and ring intelligence.

However, Tyson is not going to be around this time, with The Predator instead led by is usual team of coaches, including Dewey Cooper, with help from the likes of Eric Nicksick.

Ngannou did make one change for the upcoming Joshua bout though, with the Cameroonian undergoing his training camp in Saudi Arabia, which is different to his usual previous base in Las Vegas.

Speaking in February to The Mirror, Ngannou reflected on his partnership with Tyson as he said: ‘To be honest with this fight since my training was here [Riyadh], we didn’t get Mike Tyson here.

‘He came in like three times [for Fury], he was more advising. He would come and watch our training, he would be there to give advice.’

Physique 

Both fighters look to be in tip-top shape for the fight, with Joshua recently sharing photos of himself looking in fine fettle at his training camp in Harlow.

Joshua has always been a powerhouse, but he looks especially ripped this time around and it comes after three stunning displays over the past 12 months. 

At 6ft 6in and 250lbs – although final weights will be confirmed at Thursday’s weigh-in – Joshua looks to be a menacing proposition for Ngannou.

The Cameroonian, who has also displayed his ripped physique, will have a height disadvantage in the ring. Ngannou comes in at 6ft 4in, two inches shorter than Joshua.

Both fighters look to be in tip-top shape for the fight, with AJ looking especially ripped

Both fighters look to be in tip-top shape for the fight, with AJ looking especially ripped

Ngannou is slightly shorter than Joshua, but his reach is reported to be one inch bigger

Ngannou is slightly shorter than Joshua, but his reach is reported to be one inch bigger

However, the former MMA star should have an advantage when it comes to his reach, which is reported to be 83 inches, compared to Joshua at 82.

This could help Ngannou, who currently holds the record for the hardest punch in the world – having registered a striking power of 129,161 units on a PowerKube, (which measures the power of a punch by analysing its force, speed and accuracy).

Ngannou won 71 per cent of his UFC fights by a knock-out and will be chasing the same outcome on Friday.

Weight

Joshua on Thursday weighed in at 20lbs lighter than Ngannou. 

Joshua, who weighed in at 251lbs ahead of his victory over Otto Wallin in December, will take to the canvas as the favourite over Ngannou, despite the world’s hardest puncher impressing during his controversial split decision defeat by Tyson Fury.

AJ has put on just over a pound since defeating Wallin, registering 252.4lbs on the scales on Thursday. Ngannou, meanwhile, has practically maintained weight at 272.6lbs, having been 272.2lbs for his showdown with the Gypsy King in October.

Joshua weighed in at 20lbs lighter than Ngannou on Thursday ahead of their Friday showdown

Joshua weighed in at 20lbs lighter than Ngannou on Thursday ahead of their Friday showdown

Ngannou tipped the scales at 272.6lbs, having been 272.2lbs for his fight against Tyson Fury

Ngannou tipped the scales at 272.6lbs, having been 272.2lbs for his fight against Tyson Fury

 Predictions

There may be plenty of more trash talk and bold predictions in the final hours before the fight, but so far Joshua has remained relatively tight-lipped on his own hopes and predictions.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Tuesday, Joshua praised his opponent and hit back at suggestions the fight was not a serious event given Ngannou’s background.

‘It’s not a gimmick, it’s not something that benefits the broadcasters, it’s not just a fight for entertainment purposes,’ he said.

‘This is a serious fight with someone who is prepared and understands the dynamic of boxing and he’s putting up a good fight against the apparently generational great. So, I look at it now as something completely different.

‘To be classified as a world-class heavyweight I would say that you have to stay there for a period of time. But I think that he’s an athlete with a lot of potential.

Both Joshua and Ngannou have showed plenty of respect to each other in the build-up

Both Joshua and Ngannou have showed plenty of respect to each other in the build-up

‘I’m just happy to be at work and doing my job and I can’t wait for the next opportunity that presents itself.’ 

On the other hand, Ngannou has been more assertive in his predictions and backed himself to replicate his impressive performance against Fury, but felt he could go one better and knock out the former unified heavyweight champion.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Of course [I can knock Joshua out]! I believe if I land on anyone, I will knock them out. The question is how to land? That’s the hardest thing. 

‘Almost everyone in this division can knock anyone out, but how do you land or carry that power and energy from first round to the fifth round to 10 rounds and still hit someone hard or knock somebody out after all the fatigue? It’s a chess game.’