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Anthony Joshua refuses to name Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk as his next opponent in build-up to Francis Ngannou… after brushing away concern over the former UFC fighter's formidable size

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  • AJ previously stopped Otto Wallin in the fifth round of their December clash
  • The fight billed as ‘Knockout Chaos’ will take place in Riyadh on Friday night 
  • Joshua previously teased that facing Tyson Fury could be his next appointment

Anthony Joshua brushed off concern over Francis Ngannou‘s size ahead of their ‘Knockout Chaos’ clash in Saudi Arabia on Friday. 

The British heavyweight will face the crossover star in both fighters’ second Saudi Arabia-based clash of this Riyadh Season, with AJ previously despatching Otto Wallin as the showpiece fight on the ‘The Day of Reckoning’ card. 

Opponent Ngannou fought his first-ever heavyweight clash on Saudi soil in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ against Tyson Fury, narrowly falling to the Gypsy King via split decision but acquitting himself well in the process. 

The showdown in the Gulf state pits the Briton against a formidable rival in the figure of the Cameroonian fighter, despite Ngannou preparing to feature in just his second heavyweight clash. 

But when asked how he was preparing to face up to an opponent with a similarly titanic physique, AJ refused to be drawn into comparisons.  

Anthony Joshua was a composed presence ahead of his pre-fight arrival on Monday night

Anthony Joshua was a composed presence ahead of his pre-fight arrival on Monday night

Anthony Joshua was a composed presence ahead of his pre-fight arrival on Monday night

The Briton will first Francis Ngannou in the Cameroonian's second-ever heavyweight clash

The Briton will first Francis Ngannou in the Cameroonian’s second-ever heavyweight clash

But Joshua seemed unruffled at the prospect of fighting the crossover star who almost stopped Tyson Fury in his tracks

But Joshua seemed unruffled at the prospect of fighting the crossover star who almost stopped Tyson Fury in his tracks

‘I think we’ve got a fight,’ Joshua exclusively told Mail Sport. ‘It’s not a physique competition, it’s a fight, it’s a boxing match, let’s go.’

He also kept his cards close to his chest with regards to the event’s moniker, and was unwilling to predict who exactly would provide the ‘Knockout Chaos’.  

‘I don’t know, let’s see what happens,’ the 34-year-old added. ‘Talk is cheap, but I’m ready 100 per cent, I’m definitely, definitely, definitely ready.’

Just 73 days have passed since Joshua was last in the ring facing off with Wallin, but the fighter was raring to go on Monday evening for the fight’s grand pre-fight arrival, where he stressed the importance of keeping in shape and fight-ready between bouts. 

‘It’s important to stay locked in,’ Joshua continued. ‘My mind has so many thoughts a day, and I need to try and channel them to be focused on boxing.

‘The more I stay in the gym, the better I get, the more I stay in the gym, the more fights I win. It’s a tough game, so the less time you spend in the gym the harder your job is. 

‘I want to make my job as easy as possible. I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym maybe Monday after this fight.’ 

Ngannou lost to the Gypsy King via split decision in October after acquitting himself very well

Ngannou lost to the Gypsy King via split decision in October after acquitting himself very well

Joshua refused to be drawn on whether he will link up with Fury or former opponent Oleksandr Usyk for his next tie

Joshua refused to be drawn on whether he will link up with Fury or former opponent Oleksandr Usyk for his next tie

Although boxing fans will have to wait four more days to watch the banner spectacle, speculation is already mounting as to who the highly motivated Briton could face next. 

Supporters have long clamoured for his match-up with Fury, who is in the process of preparing to fight Oleksandr Usyk after their February bout was delayed due to his training injury. 

But Joshua had no interest on being tempted into revealing his next opponent, be that Fury or the Ukranian former cruiserweight, who he has been defeated by two times previously.  

‘Just get this fight out the way,’ Joshua stressed. ‘That’s my main focus.’