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Why is Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou being held on Friday? Plus how the F1 has a role to play in the fight taking place on such an unusual day

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  • Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou will take place this Friday, March 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Friday is an unusual day for a titanic clash like this to be held on but due to other sporting events, organisers pushed the fight forward a day
  • This years modified F1 calendar has had a massive role to play in why the fight is fixed for a Friday night instead of the standard Saturday night 

The boxing world has eagerly been awaiting the titanic clash between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, since it was announced the two would face one another back in January. 

Joshua will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou as he bids to win his fourth consecutive fight following back to back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk, which saw him lose his world titles.

His opponent Ngannou has only one professional boxing match under his belt, however it was a main event clash. He went head to head with the ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury.

Usually, the biggest fights which draw the biggest names are scheduled for the standard prime time slot on Saturday night. 

However this fight is different and will take place on Friday. Here is why…

A fight between two heavyweight champions in fighting like Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou would usually take place Saturday night but this fight has something standing in the way

A fight between two heavyweight champions in fighting like Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou would usually take place Saturday night but this fight has something standing in the way

Anthony Joshua is hot off a three match win streak and is looking to reclaim his status as one of boxings best heavyweight fighters after losing his word title to Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua is hot off a three match win streak and is looking to reclaim his status as one of boxings best heavyweight fighters after losing his word title to Oleksandr Usyk

Francis Ngannou made his professional debut in boxing against the undefeated 'Gypsy King' back in October, where he impressed by knocking Fury down before going on to loss on points

Francis Ngannou made his professional debut in boxing against the undefeated ‘Gypsy King’ back in October, where he impressed by knocking Fury down before going on to loss on points

Why is Joshua vs Ngannou on a Friday? 

Anthony Joshua vs Ngannou will take place on Friday, March 8 instead of the custom Saturday night slot simply because of the F1. 

The 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is due to take place this weekend as well.

For many F1 fans and boxing fans you may be wondering why the two clash since a Grand Prix is usually scheduled for a Sunday.

This years F1 calendar was slightly modified to accommodate one of the Muslim religions biggest holiday’s Ramadan, the race weekend was pushed forward a day.

Meaning the race weekend will begin a day earlier on Thursday and finish a day earlier on Saturday.

As the two sporting events are in the same country and both spectacles are expected to draw in huge numbers, organisers decided to keep the main events on separate days. 

Separating the two events also means organisers and broadcasters can get the best of both world because they are on separate dates, meaning they can show both.  

The 2024 Formula One season began last weekend in Bahrain and the second race of the 2024 calendar year will take place this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia

The 2024 Formula One season began last weekend in Bahrain and the second race of the 2024 calendar year will take place this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia

The exact start time for the fight night has yet to be confirmed but the undercard bouts are expected to begin around 4pm UK time / 8am PT / 11 am ET.

Joshua and Ngannou’s ring walks are likely to take place around 10pm UK  / 2pm PT / 5pm ET. 

Mail Sport will be providing coverage of the event with live updates of all the action on Friday.

Mail Sport will also be running a live blog so you don’t miss a minute of the action.