Home News Start time for Anthony Joshua's mega-fight with Francis Ngannou is revealed… with...

Start time for Anthony Joshua's mega-fight with Francis Ngannou is revealed… with fans set for a late night as they await the action in Saudi Arabia

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  • Joshua vs Ngannou ring walk is scheduled for 2.20am local time, 11.20pm UK 
  • Heavyweight showdown marks the highlight of a marathon bill in Riyadh  
  • Joshua weighed in 20lbs lighter than MMA fighter Ngannou on Thursday 

British fight fans are set for a late night after the start time for Anthony Joshua‘s showdown with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia was confirmed.

The country’s sports federation say the ring walks for the main event in Riyadh won’t begin until 11.20pm UK time, or 2.20am local time.

The two heavyweights will make their way to the ring following a performance of the Saudi national anthem.

The British boxer’s clash with MMA star Ngannou is the highlight of an eye-catching bill, which also features the WBO Heavyweight championship bout between Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker at 10.20pm UK time (1.20am local). 

The marathon card actually features 10 fights, the first of which is at 3.20pm UK time.  

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday evening

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday evening

The ring walk times for the marathon card in Riyadh have been confirmed with Joshua vs Ngannou not set to get underway until 2.20am local time, or 11.20pm UK time

The ring walk times for the marathon card in Riyadh have been confirmed with Joshua vs Ngannou not set to get underway until 2.20am local time, or 11.20pm UK time

The 'Knockout Chaos' bill features 10 fights in all, beginning at 3.20pm UK time

The ‘Knockout Chaos’ bill features 10 fights in all, beginning at 3.20pm UK time

Joshua weighed in 20lbs lighter than Ngannou ahead of the ‘Knockout Chaos’ showpiece. 

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.

The former UFC champion was beaten via split decision when he came up against Fury last year but will be hoping for different fortunes on Friday night. 

Ahead of the bout, Joshua insisted that he will be bringing ‘relentlessness’ in his Friday fight with Ngannou.

When asked about his preparation, the British fighter said: ‘All will be revealed, straight up war, relentlessness and a good fight. That’s what everyone’s here for – a good fight.’

With the ever-present prospect of a clash with compatriot Fury never seeming to leave Joshua’s career trajectory, there has of course been speculation that a win over Ngannou could bring that titanic collision a step closer to reality. 

Anthony Joshua has weighed in 20lbs lighter than Francis Ngannou ahead of Friday's fight

Anthony Joshua has weighed in 20lbs lighter than Francis Ngannou ahead of Friday’s fight

Joshua weighed in as 252.4lbs on the scales on Thursda

Ngannou has practically maintained weight at 272.6lbs

Joshua (L) weighed in 252.4lbs meanwhile the former UFC champion weighed in 272.6lbs

However, Joshua insisted that his attention was firmly fixed on Friday night, and he was not looking past the task at hand.  

‘We’re not looking past this fight,’ he said. ‘The incentives and stuff, it’s just to win, to focus on my game plan and focus on what I’ve got to do.

‘It was always his [Francis] dream to be a boxer, he was part of the Cameroonian team and only started MMA when he was 26. He’s been doing it from a young age, I know what I’m up against. 

‘I spar, I do my film studying and keep it professional. But on the night, that textbook goes out the window, you’ve got to be relentless.

‘This [entertaining] is what I’ve devoted my life to so bring every challenge, every competition and I’ll step up to the plate. One day I’ll share the ring with Tyson – I’m serious about the game. 

‘The best man will always win, it’s not rocket science. One of the main things I’m looking forward to is showing how good I am. People find out when they’re in the ring, but we’ll see. Friday will soon come, I’m looking forward to it and the occasion.’