Anthony Joshua delivered a stunning second-round knockout to dismantle any hopes of a remarkable upset and advance on his quest to become a three-time world champion on Friday.

Anthony Joshua vs Ngannou
Anthony Joshua vs Ngannou

In the initial round, Joshua sent Ngannou to the canvas with a powerful right hand. Although Ngannou managed to get back up, he seemed unstable.

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The former boxing heavyweight champion secured another knockdown in the second round with a well-placed shot to Ngannou’s left ear.

Following the second knockdown, Joshua sealed Francis’ fate with a perfectly executed straight right that landed solidly. Francis, weighing 272½ pounds, fell awkwardly to the canvas, and his leg bent unnaturally beneath him.

Francis, now 0-2 in boxing, had previously made his debut against heavyweight lineal champion Tyson Fury, losing a split decision despite knocking Fury down with a left hook in the third round. This time, he couldn’t recover after Joshua’s dominant performance in the first round.

Joshua’s victory marks one of the most devastating knockouts in his career, following recent impressive wins over Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin, reigniting his pursuit of another world title opportunity.

The anticipated prize had been a focal point in the lead-up to the bout in Saudi Arabia, and Joshua’s triumph is expected to set the stage for a potential fight against the winner of Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk’s clash for the undisputed heavyweight championship.

After the fight, Joshua acknowledged Francis’ skills and encouraged him not to leave boxing, emphasizing his potential for success with dedication.

Joshua, displaying a focused demeanor throughout the week, delivered a knockout performance to expose Ngannou to the harsh realities of heavyweight boxing.

Francis had entered the fight with momentum from a remarkable debut against Fury in October, where his unexpected third-round knockdown in the loss to the WBC champion earned him another lucrative opportunity in the ring.

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