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Frazer Clarke insists Anthony Joshua and trainer Ben Davison will have developed a 'solid game plan' for Francis Ngannou… as he claims the 'element of surprise' will no longer work in the former UFC star's favour

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Frazer Clarke has insisted Francis Ngannou faces an uphill battle when he takes on Anthony Joshua on Friday.

Ngannou’s boxing debut came against WBC champion Tyson Fury in a ten-round non-title bout back in October.

Though he would become just the fourth fighter to drop Fury in the professional ranks, Ngannou would ultimately come up short that night in Riyadh with Fury prevailing on the judges’ scorecards.

Reactions in the aftermath were split on whether Ngannou had exceeded expectations inside the ring or if Fury had simply vastly underestimated the Cameroonian’s skills as a pugilist.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s clash, undefeated heavyweight Clarke insisted Joshua would not make the same mistake.

Anthony Joshua will take on Francis Ngannou in his second fight since joining up with trainer Ben Davison

Anthony Joshua will take on Francis Ngannou in his second fight since joining up with trainer Ben Davison

Heavyweight contender Frazer Clarke claimed the pair will have developed a plan to stifle the former UFC star

Heavyweight contender Frazer Clarke claimed the pair will have developed a plan to stifle the former UFC star

Ngannou exceeded expectations by taking Tyson Fury the ten-round distance in his boxing debut

Ngannou exceeded expectations by taking Tyson Fury the ten-round distance in his boxing debut

‘I think it’s the team [Ngannou’s] coming up against,’ he said.

‘Just this week, I was listening to Devin Haney talk about how good Ben Davison [is] when it comes to the analysis of a fight. 

‘That added to AJ and his game and the way he boxes already, there’s no surprise there and to be honest, by the sounds of what I’m hearing and the way they approach fights, they’ll be breaking that down and they’ll have a solid game plan.

‘Whatever elements he did have as a surprise before, they’ll be out of the window as in the way in the things I hear, them guys will know what colour socks he’ll be wearing in the ring so they’ll be ready and prepared.’

Joshua began working with Davison ahead of his clash with heavyweight contender Otto Wallin in December.

The Olympic gold medallist had gone through three different trainers in his previous four fights, and while he had picked up back-to-back wins in 2023, he still seemed to lack the intensity that characterised his early professional career.

With Tyson Fury’s former trainer in his corner however Joshua looked revitalised against Wallin, dominating the hapless Swede and forcing a corner stoppage after five rounds.