Who's next for Francis Ngannou?

Published on 4 November 2023 at 20:00

One week on – public opinion remains consistent; Francis Ngannou is the people’s champion following his narrow defeat to heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.  

Despite not getting his hand raised after a ten-round war against Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou has tasted moral victory leading into the aftermath of the colossal event which was held in Riyadh. Pledging his commitment to the sport in his post-fight thoughts, the question of Ngannou’s next opponent is asked. With some of boxing’s top promoters using the opportunity to create hypothetical bouts, here are three potential options for the Cameroonian’s second boxing showdown. 



Anthony Joshua

Undoubtedly a formidable opponent for Ngannou; discourse surrounding a possible fight between the two has already begun. Famed boxing promoter and chairman of Matchroom Sport, Eddie Hearn, recently expressed his enthusiasm to organize a fight between the two heavyweight giants. Speaking to the BBC, Hearn disclosed that he has already had contact with Ngannou’s team, further adding: “All of a sudden that fight between two giants, they’re carved out of stone, it becomes a massive fight. We’re definitely willing to consider it.” 

“The MMA world believe Ngannou beats everyone. When I met Ngannou he was trying to pitch me AJ against Ngannou in Africa. 

Joshua, the two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, possesses the resume to make an exciting fight between himself and the Cameroonian. However, only time will tell if an event of such magnitude will take place. 


Deontay Wilder

Photo Credit - Zach Catanzareti

Likely the most fitting opponent for the Cameroonian, the potential bout between the two seems to be the fan favorite for Ngannou’s return to the ring. The Alabamian, who previously partook in a trilogy of fights with Tyson Fury, possesses the same key trait as Francis; a destructive right hand. With his unorthodox fighting style bearing major similarities to Ngannou - both men’s taste of defeat against the Gypsy King could make for an entertaining showdown. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday, Ngannou spoke of discussions that have already taken place in efforts to organize the bout, stating: “That has been in discussion.” 

 “That is something that can potentially happen. Deontay Wilder for a couple of months, or a little while, has been training MMA because there’s an option here. Nothing is set, but some things have been coming to my attention, so that’s something that makes sense.” 

While nothing is set in stone, the possibility of both men facing off grows increasingly likely in the coming months. 


Tyson Fury

Photo Credits - MikeDiMamizio

While quite a tongue in cheek suggestion, a rematch against the Mancunian champion may not be out of the equation for Ngannou. With the outcome of the fight last week being as controversial as it was, it would be naïve to count out Fury’s previous track record of setting the record straight – an example of this being his victorious rematch against Deontay Wilder following a draw in their first fight.  

In an interview with TNT Sports, Fury confirmed his interest in a rematch: "Listen, he was a good fighter and we will probably have a rematch somewhere down the line. Who’d have thought it?” 

Perhaps remaining rather coy on the topic due to his upcoming fight against Oleksandr Usyk, most fans believe Ngannou is deserving of his rematch, and rightfully so.  

Prepared for any challenge and ready for anything, Ngannou’s return to boxing is sure to be eagerly anticipated by all combat sport fans. 


Written by Oisin O'Sullivan

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