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SPORTS FACTS AND FIGURES 57: ANTHONY JOSHUA VS. FRANCIS NGANNOU ON MARCH 8 IN RIYADH


PhilBoxing.com





This coming March 8th, from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will exchange blows with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. The 37-year-old Ngannou of Batié, Cameroon had his professional boxing debut last October 28, when he faced WBC and lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a 10 round non-title bout.

* * *

Fans were shocked when Ngannou amazingly clashed against Fury and was able to deck him with a superb counterpunch in the third round. Fury eluded with a very close decision victory, 95-94, 95-94 and 96-93. But several experts believed that Ngannou deserved to win.

* * *

On the other hand, Joshua, age 34, of Watford, England, is a former two-time unified heavyweight champion, and since losing two matches against Oleksandr Usyk, AJ came back and fought three times last year, winning all three fights against Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius, and Otto Wallin.

* * *

Last April 1, AJ won a 12 round unanimous decision against Franklin. Then on August 12, Joshua stopped Robert Helenius in the 7th round. Then on December 23, in the main event fight on the Boxing Day of Reckoning, Joshua dominated Wallin and Otto’s corner stopped the fight after the end of the 5th round.

* * *

As an amateur, Joshua represented England at the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in the super-heavyweight division and won a silver medal. He also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics and won a gold medal.

* * *

In 2017, his winning fight against Wladimir Klitschko was named Fight of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Joshua is the second English boxer, after James DeGale, to win both an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title, becoming the first English heavyweight to achieve such a feat.

* * *

LeBron James became the first NBA player to score 40,000 career regular-season points in the Los Angeles' game Saturday against the Denver Nuggets. But the Lakers lost to the defending NBA champions, 124-114.

* * *

The 39-year-old James scored 26 points in that game. He scored the historic basket with 10 minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter with a driving lay-up from the left side of the basket to give the Lakers a 37-32 lead.

* * *

LeBron James played in his NBA debut in October 2003. James became the NBA's all-time leading scorer in February 2023, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record of 38,387 points. The four-time NBA champion and four-time Most Valuable Player is playing in his 21st season and is presently the league's oldest active player.

* * *

Sports History: March 4, 1968. Joe Frazier takes his record to 20-0 and captures vacant world heavyweight boxing title as he stopped Buster Mathis in 11th round TKO at Madison Square Garden, New York City.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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