Anthony Joshua destroys Francis Ngannou, Filip Hrgovic shrugs – Ring News 24 | Boxing News

Heavyweight Filip Hrgović.
Photo credit: Mark Robinson

Former two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 28-3 (25) walked through former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-2 in two one-sided rounds on the weekend, but not everybody was impressed.

The 34-year-old Brit wiped out Ngannou at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday night.

Cameroonian Ngannou, 37, had boxed professionally just once previously, losing a disputed 10-round split decision to Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) in their non-title fight in October last year after decking the WBC heavyweight champion in the third round with a big left hook.

Fury looked underdone for the fight, but Ngannou performed much better than most fans and pundits anticipated. It gave pause for thought ahead of the Joshua bout.

Not for long, though. Joshua needed just five power punches to land to put his man away. Three of them had Ngannou on the deck, once in the first and twice in the second round, to secure a dominant victory for the ex-WBA, WBO and IBF ruler.

In hindsight, perhaps it was the result we all should have expected. That is certainly the opinion of one man, heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic 17-0 (14).

“I’m not so impressed. I thought it was going to end that way. That’s the way fights have ended,” Hrgovic said to iFL TV.

“A guy who has one fight fighting the former two-time heavyweight champion of the world. So that’s the way it should be. I was expecting something similar result.

“I’m not so impressed. I’m not sure what to be impressed with. Joshua did what he needed to do. So, it’s not a huge deal.

“I think [Ngannou] would finish in that way against a lot of top heavyweights. That knockout was so stunning. I don’t think he would have so much chance with any top heavyweights.”

There was one thing Hrgovic was happy with though.

“I’m glad because he defended our sport. Thanks, Anthony Joshua,” the 31-year-old Croatian said.

“Tyson Fury embarrassed our sport with his performance and I think he was not so ready and underestimated Ngannou. He was not in great shape. Joshua defended the colours of our sport and thanks to him.”

IBF number one contender Hrgovic had a vested interest in the result of the fight. There is every chance he will have the opportunity to face Joshua for the vacant title if current titleholder Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) is stripped of the belt if he chooses to face Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) in an immediate rematch after their May 18 bout.

Hrgovic says he is ready for any scenario, including a fight with Joshua.

“I hope so. It’s not about me, it’s about him,” he said. “I would like to fight him whenever, but it’s not about me. It’s about the spoiled stars. It’s about them.

“Of course I want to fight him. He’s a star and he’ll decide. If that fight doesn’t happen, it’s not about me. I want to fight him. I’m ready. When the IBF becomes vacant, and it’ll become after Fury-Usyk, me and him are next in the line.

“There’s no reason for it not to happen. Only if he doesn’t want that.”