Anthony Joshua Bidik Gelar Juara Kelas Berat Usai Pukul KO Francis Ngannou

I Gede Ardy Estrada

Editor: I Gede Ardy Estrada

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou
Pertarungan tinju antara Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou berlangsung di Riyadh, Arab Saudi, 8 Maret 2024. (Jovi Arnanda/Skor.id)

SKOR.id – Petinju Inggris Anthony Joshua seperti memberi pernyataan penting kepada divisi kelas berat melalui kemenangan KO atas Francis Ngannou di ronde kedua dalam duel di Riyadh, Arab Saudi.

Joshua berhasil menjatuhkan Ngannou, yang merupakan mantan juara dunia UFC, di ronde pertama dan kedua pertarungan yang berlangsung pada Jumat (8/3/2024) malam waktu setempat. 

Ngannou yang sempoyongan sempat bisa bangkit berdiri, namun Joshua melancarkan pukulan lagi eksplosif sebelum wasit kemudian akhirnya menghentikan kontes.

Dan Anthony Joshua membuat pernyataan penting usai diumumkan sebagai pemenang. Ia secara terbuka mengatakan siap segera bertarung kembali untuk perebutan sabuk gelar kelas berat.

“Saya kembali ke kandang saya dan ketika mereka membiarkan saya keluar, saya akan bertarung lagi,” kata Joshua, seperti menantang juara kelas berat WBC Tyson Fury yang menyaksikan langsung dari pinggir ring.    

Fury sendiri sudah melawan Ngannou pada Oktober 2023. Ketika itu, The Gypsy King harus bekerja keras mengalahkan sang debutan lewat kemenangan angka tipis.

“Saat saya lihat pertarungannya dengan Tyson Fury, saya berpikir, ‘Saya juga menginginkan itu’. (Ngannou) adalah seorang juara yang hebat dan (kekalahan) ini tidak mengurangi kemampuannya,” ujar Joshua.

“Saya telah mengatakan kepadanya untuk tidak meninggalkan tinju. Dia sudah menjalani dua pertarungan dan dia menghadapi yang terbaik,” imbuh pria 34 tahun itu.

Kemenangan atas Francis Ngannou menjadi yang keempat bagi Anthony Joshua dalam rentang 11 bulan. Dan ia menjaga ambisinya untuk dapat kembali merebut gelar juara kelas berat tetap hidup.

Untuk diketahui, Joshua pernah berstatus juara kelas berat WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, dan IBO pada 2018. Namun, gelarnya hilang akibat kalah dari Andy Ruiz Jr., Juni 2019.

Lalu berselang enam bulan, ia mampu kembali merebut titel juara setelah sukses revans. Joshua mengalahkan Ruiz di Diriyah, Arab Saudi.

AJ, sapaan akrab Joshua, kembali kehilangan gelar menyusul kekalahan dari Oleksandr Usyk dalam duel yang berlangsung di London, September 2021.    

Promotor Eddie Hearn telah menyerukan agar Joshua, bertarung menghadapi pemenang duel antara Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk untuk menjadi juara kelas berat tak terbantahkan, 18 Mei 2024.

“Dalam lima tahun saya tak akan lagi bertarung (pensiun). Jadi Eddie Hearn dan tim saya bakal menentukan terkait masa depan karier saya,” tutur Joshua memungkasi.

Source: BBC Sport

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