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Frank Warren exclusive: If Ngannou catches Joshua, he’ll knock him out

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Frank Warren exclusive: If Ngannou catches Joshua, he’ll knock him out

Frank Warren exclusive: If Ngannou catches Joshua, he’ll knock him out

Last October, Frank Warren probably had no fingernails left by the time he had finished watching Tyson Fury scrape past boxing debutant Francis Ngannou.

This Friday, the Hall of Fame promoter can sit back in his ringside seat and watch the ‘Knockout Chaos’ unfold as Anthony Joshua and Ngannou collide in Saudi Arabia. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

Although Saudi Arabia’s spectacular entrance into boxing means that promoters are working together to make the biggest fights possible, Warren remains firmly in the Tyson Fury business. The ideal end game of this current heavyweight merry-go-round is a a massive showdown between Fury and Joshua. But whichever way the chips fall this weekend, Warren knows that Fury has some massive nights in his future.

If Joshua does what Fury couldn’t and blasts through Ngannou it makes a future Battle of Britain between the two even bigger. If Ngannou can go one better than he did against Fury and beat the two-time unified champion, the MMA star will be in line for an enormous fight with the winner of the upcoming undisputed heavyweight title fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

“Ngannou is a big, big guy”

Frank Warren

“Whatever way it comes out, it’s gonna generate bigger fights in the future,” Warren told 32Red.

“If Ngannou catches Joshua, he’ll knock him out. I think Joshua will try to do what he did against Andy Ruiz in their second fight but this fella isn’t Ruiz. I’m not saying Ruiz is a bad fighter but this is a big, big guy. I don’t think he’s got great stamina and – for me – one of the most interesting things is gonna be how much he’s learned from his first fight. How is he going to adapt? One thing is for sure, he knows he’s capable of knocking out Joshua if he clips him.”

Fans can also be assured of fireworks from the WBC featherweight title fight between Rey Vargas and Liverpool’s Nick Ball. The Mexican veteran is a wily old pro who has been campaigning at the very highest level for years and has never been beaten at featherweight. The exciting Ball has become one of British boxing’s must see attractions over the last couple of years. He isn’t going to change his approach now.

“This is a cracking fight. I fancy our man. It’s not gonna be easy at all but he can do it,” Warren said. “If he can impose himself – which he can do – then he’s got a tremendous work rate and the one thing about him – which I hope is going to be the case and I hope I’m not jinxing it – is that he isn’t easy to hit. He makes people miss and then he makes them pay for missing.

“Ball is fighting the number one in the world”

Frank Warren

“He certainly wants it. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. I genuinely think he can do this and this will be his moment. If the worst comes to the worst and he gets beaten then it’s not the end of the world. It’s experience. He’s fighting the number one guy in the world.

“If he wins this fight, you know it’s gonna be exciting because he can’t be anything but exciting. That’s what he does. If he comes through then he’s well and truly there.”

Provided Ball comes through and doesn’t accumulate too much damage in the process, Warren would like to see him play a prominent part on the upcoming Queensberry v Matchroom card. How does a WBC featherweight title fight between Nick Ball and two-time IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington sound?

“I would love that fight.”

Also on the undercard, Queensberry lightweights Mark Chamberlain and Gavin Gwynne will meet. The heavy handed Chamberlain was on his way home from a Christmas night out with his sponsors when His Excellency Turki Alalshikh called him personally and offered him the chance to fight on this card.

“Sam Noakes is very much underrated”

Frank Warren

Chamberlain hasn’t been given an easy fight. He will face the experienced and underrated Gavin Gwynne.

“You couldn’t make that up could you?” Warren laughed when talking about Chamberlain’s call up. “It’s a great opportunity for both of them. Whoever comes through, they’re there. They’ve got the platform to perform on and now they have to go out and do the business. They can move themselves onto bigger and better stages.”

Over the past couple of years, Warren has been quietly laying the road towards an explosive domestic showdown between Chamberlain and Sam Noakes. Noakes took a big step along that road a couple of weeks ago when he stopped Lewis Sylvester to add the British title to his Commonwealth strap. If Chamberlain can beat Gwynne – who holds the European strap – then the two should be clear to take each other on later this year.

“That is the fight you’d like to see. It’s a great fight,” Warren said. “Sam is very much underrated. He’s the real deal. The way he goes about it is relentless. Look at Nick and Sam, they’ve got tremendous engines. I love watching it.

“He doesn’t take people out with one shot, he just absolutely breaks them down and he stops everybody. That is all down to his engine and the work rate.”

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