Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou weigh-in LIVE: Latest updates ahead of fight in Saudi Arabia

Francis Ngannou was 20.2lbs heavier than Anthony Joshua at Thursday’s weigh-in for their boxing match in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, a former two-time unified heavyweight champion, will fight the ex-UFC champion in Riyadh on Friday (8 March).

Ahead of their 10-round professional contest, “AJ” and the “Predator” hit the scales and came face to face for the final time before Friday’s first bell. Ngannou weighed in first, coming in at 272.6lbs – 0.4lbs heavier than he was in his boxing debut against Tyson Fury in October. Joshua followed at 252.4lbs – 1.4lbs heavier than he was against Otto Wallin in December.

Ngannou dropped the unbeaten Fury in Riyadh before losing a controversial decision. The Briton’s WBC title was not on the line in that bout. Two months later, Joshua stopped Wallin in five rounds to make it three wins from as many fights in 2023.

Re-live the weigh-in below.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

  • Anthony Joshua boxes ex-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on Friday

  • Ahead of their fight in Saudi Arabia, Joshua and Ngannou faced off at a weigh-in

  • Ngannou, 37, made boxing debut vs Tyson Fury in October

  • Cameroonian floored Fury but lost controversial decision

  • Joshua, 34, seeks to build on three wins from three fights in 2023

  • Briton stopped Otto Wallin in December in most recent fight

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

17:17 , Alex Pattle

That’s all from today’s weigh-in! Join us right here tomorrow at 3pm GMT, as we begin our build-up to Joshua vs Ngannou.

The first prelim fight is expected at 4pm GMT, with the main card following at 6pm GMT.

Until then! Thanks for following along.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

17:30 , Alex Pattle

Francis Ngannou 20lbs heavier than Anthony Joshua at weigh-in for Saudi fight

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

17:06 , Alex Pattle

Anthony Joshua (left) and Francis Ngannou after weighing in for their bout (Getty Images)
Anthony Joshua (left) and Francis Ngannou after weighing in for their bout (Getty Images)

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

17:05 , Alex Pattle

Conor Benn and Manny Pacquaio are present and facing off. Eddie Hearn, Benn’s promoter, is coy on whether there have been any substantial negotiations.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:59 , Alex Pattle

Joshua on whether he respects Ngannou’s skills: “Always, always.”

On whether Fury did not respect Ngannou’s skills: “He can answer those questions himself, I can’t be a spokesperson for Fury.”

Official prediction: “I deliver. I’m the postman!”

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:58 , Alex Pattle

Ngannou: “The mindset is still the same. This is just my second boxing match, even though I’m taking on the two best guys in the world in boxing.

“I’m the underdog, I’m going out there to prove that you can be an underdog and stand your ground.”

On why he smirked slightly at AJ: “Sometimes it just makes me laugh a little bit, because we’re going to fight in boxing rules, but what would happen if it was a ‘free’ fight? I would smoke these guys! Ahaha! I’m the only one to go into their backyard.

“My official prediction is me leaving the ring with the victory.”

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:56 , Alex Pattle

Joshua and Ngannou both look phenomenal. They are in terrific shape. We have a HEAVYWEIGHT showdown on our hands, people.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:54 , Alex Pattle

Ngannou tips the scales at 272.6lbs – ever so slightly heavier than he was when he fought Fury.

Joshua follows at 252.4lbs – slightly heavier than he was against Wallin.

Ngannou is 20.2lbs heavier than the Briton.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:48 , Alex Pattle

Two men left to hit the stage: Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou.

For reference, Joshua weighed in at 251lbs for his fight with Otto Wallin (238.6lbs) in December.

Ngannou hit the scales at 272.2lbs for his bout with Tyson Fury (277.7) in October.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:46 , Alex Pattle

Parker, the challenger, weighs in at 247.6lbs.

Zhang then comes in at 291.6lbs.

A 44lbs difference! Remarkable.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:39 , Alex Pattle

Next up will be China’s Zhilei Zhang and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker!

Zhang, 40, defends the WBO interim heavyweight belt against Parker, 32, tomorrow.

As we wait for the fighters to emerge, read our preview of the bout here:

How ‘Big Bang’ Zhang can steal Joshua and Ngannou’s thunder

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:35 , Alex Pattle

Tomorrow night, Rey Vargas defends his WBC featherweight title against the unbeaten Nick Ball.

Liverpudlian Ball tips the scales at 126lbs. Mexican Vargas then comes in at 125lbs.

Look at the height difference in this one!

Rey Vargas (left) and Nick Ball facing off at Wednesday’s press conference (Getty Images)
Rey Vargas (left) and Nick Ball facing off at Wednesday’s press conference (Getty Images)

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:30 , Alex Pattle

Now here come the unbeaten pair of Magomed Kurbanov and Israil Madrimov.

The super-welterweights will meet to crown a WBA champion, with the belt currently vacant.

Kurbanov is 153.6lbs, before Madrimov also weighs in at 153.6lbs.

Two fights in a row where each fighter has tipped the scales at the same weight as his opponent!

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:26 , Alex Pattle

Now we have Mark Chamberlain, specifically picked to fight here by Saudi adviser Turki Al-Sheikh, and Gavin Gwynne.

England’s Chamberlain weighs in at 134.6lbs, before Welshman Gwynne also comes in at 134.6lbs.

The Britons are set for their lightweight contest, which is for the vacant WBA International belt.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:20 , Alex Pattle

153.2lbs for England’s Louis Greene, whose compatriot Jack McGann tips the scales at 153.4 lbs.

The pair will clash at super-welterweight tomorrow.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:17 , Alex Pattle

Kevin Lerena: 232.4lbs.

Justis Huni: 243.2lbs

It’s South Africa (Lerena) vs Australia (Huni) in this heavyweight clash tomorrow.

Lerena’s mother sadly passed away yesterday. No one would have blamed him for not fighting tomorrow, or even deciding not to show up today.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:14 , Alex Pattle

2-0 Czech Martin Svarc comes in at 225.6lbs, before his opponent Roman Fury – half-brother of Tyson – tips the scales at 224lbs. Fury is 3-0 as a pro.

This fight is taking place at heavyweight, though it was initially set to be at cruiserweight.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:11 , Alex Pattle

Now Mexico’s Christian Lopez Flores takes to the stage, followed by Saudi Arabia’s own Ziyad Almaayouf.

Almaayouf is looking to stay unbeaten in this super-lightweight contest. He is currently 4-0, while Flores has a losing record of 14-35-2 (wins, losses, draws).

Flores weighs in at 142lbs. Almaayouf comes in at 144lbs.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:09 , Alex Pattle

First onto the stage...

Juan Torres and Andrii Novytskyi, ahead of their heavyweight bout tomorrow.

Texan Torres tips the scales at 255.6lbs. Ukraine’s Novytskyi follows, weighing in at 239.4lbs.

That’s a 16lbs advantage for Torres, if you see it as an advantage; Novytskyi is the one with an unbeaten record.

Torres with a bit of a shove, as he and Novytskyi come face to face. He didn’t fully commit!

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

16:00 , Alex Pattle

And the weigh-ins are under way!

It looks like we’ll have a bit of build-up before the undercard fighters step on the scales, and before Joshua and Ngannou do the same.

Or not! No hanging around for a change. Refreshing.

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:56 , Alex Pattle

In other boxing news...

A couple of hours ago, it was announced that Jake Paul will box Mike Tyson in July, at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium – and live on Netflix.

More here:

Jake Paul to fight Mike Tyson ‘live on Netflix’

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:53 , Alex Pattle

Yesterday’s press conference saw no barbs traded before Joshua and Ngannou. However... the Cameroonian did get into an exchange with Tyson Fury, who was sat in the front row.

Take a look at what went down:

Watch: Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury in heated exchange ahead of Anthony Joshua bout

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:47 , Alex Pattle

Our final preview ahead of tomorrow night looks at the co-main event: Zhilei Zhang vs Joseph Parker.

“Parker’s application of intelligent aggression, which he employed so well against Wilder, could be key here. Zhang, too, has form for picking his moments to be mean. Yet while both men are capable of cruelty, they are beloved in their own ways in the boxing world. Zhang’s broken English and ability to break opponents have endeared him to fans, while Parker is known among journalists as arguably the nicest guy in the sport.

“‘Joseph Parker is a hell of a fighter,’ Zhang said respectfully at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘He’s young, he’s hungry, and he’s coming for the belt.’ Parker, meanwhile, opted for light-hearted, euphemistic quips about Zhang’s surname. Then, however, each fighter’s mean streak slipped out. ‘I’m the tiger here.’ Zhang warned. ‘If you want to hunt, if you want to take the food out of my mouth, you’ll pay the price.’ Parker hit back: ‘I feel dangerous, I really do, and Zhang’s going to feel the danger.’

“For 12 rounds in Riyadh, neither boxer will worry about being nice. On Friday, it will be a resurgent Parker against a surging Zhang, in a fight that may just outshine the main event.”

Full article:

How ‘Big Bang’ Zhang can steal Joshua and Ngannou’s thunder

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:40 , Alex Pattle

Two previews down, two to go! Here is one specifically on Ngannou, and a story beyond anything that Hollywood could dream up...

“When Francis Ngannou’s heartbreaking, tear-jerking, awe-inspiring, miraculous life is imagined as a motion picture – and it will be – Hollywood’s chosen scribes will trade sheepish glances in the writers’ room. Forget any fantasy film they have worked on, any cheesy sporting drama, any puffed-up biopic; they will ask themselves how to tone down Ngannou’s story, how to make it more believable, how to avoid raised eyebrows, rolling pupils and dismissive scoffs in cinemas.

“That is because even the most creative, unhinged or audacious scriptwriter would not dare to conjure a narrative with the kind of backstory, plot twists and three-act structure that define Ngannou’s career.

“The Cameroonian’s first act would take place in his country of birth, where at just 10 years old he was leaking streaks of sweat and drops of blood in a sand quarry in Batie. This start in life combined physical labour with a need to provide, a situation not fit for any child. That is to say nothing of the more relatable life-shaping events affecting a young Ngannou: his parents’ divorce when the future fighter was just six, a struggle to gain a formal education.

“Yet even with that lack of education, Ngannou exhibited a precocious wisdom – one that explains so much of his impossible success.”

Full article:

Real-life Rocky? Francis Ngannou’s story is beyond any Hollywood script

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:33 , Alex Pattle

And here’s another look at Joshua vs Ngannou, from this morning...

“A potential concern for Joshua is that, while his knockout ability undoubtedly eclipses Tyson Fury’s, Ngannou proved utterly unfazed by Fury’s offence. The ‘Predator’ was even apathetic to a stray elbow that landed clean for Fury, who momentarily did his best impression of a mixed martial artist. It was a visual almost as shocking as the knockdown itself.

“Between Ngannou’s power, resilience, and a distinct lack of pressure, there is more than enough to suggest that Friday could be a dangerous night for Joshua. The Briton’s experience across 12 rounds at the highest level, however, may prove crucial; Friday’s main event is scheduled for 10 rounds, but Ngannou did require a second wind of sorts to finish strong against Fury, whereas Joshua’s knockout power has carried late in fights before.

“Joshua got rid of Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round, Carlos Takam in the tenth, and famously Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th.”

Full article:

Why fear will settle Joshua and Ngannou’s dangerous fight

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:26 , Alex Pattle

As we wait for the weigh-in to begin, we’ll highlight some of our key content from the build to Joshua vs Ngannou.

First up, Steve Bunce’s preview of the main event:

Joshua faces Ngannou jeopardy – but holds key advantage over Fury

Joshua vs Ngannou weigh-in LIVE

15:15 , Alex Pattle

Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will hit the scales at a weigh-in today, just 24 hours before fight night in Saudi Arabia.

Former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua will box Ngannou, a former UFC champion, in Riyadh on Friday (8 March), in the latter’s second fight in the sport. The Cameroonian, 37, made his boxing debut in October, flooring WBC champion Tyson Fury en route to a controversial decision loss.

Now Ngannou has returned to Riyadh for another clash with a Briton, as he prepares to face “AJ”, 34. Joshua’s last fight also came in the Saudi city, as he stopped Otto Wallin in five rounds in December. With that, the Olympic gold medalist made it three wins from three fights in 2023, following his stoppage of Robert Helenius and decision victory over Jermaine Franklin.

Joshua vs Ngannou has been billed as “Knockout Chaos”, but before the heavyweights can trade punches, they must take to the scales.