Anthony Joshua Tantang Mantan Juara Dunia UFC Francis Ngannou Duel

Arin Nabila

Editor: I Gede Ardy Estrada

Anthony Joshua segera naik ring. (Hendy AS/Skor.id)
Anthony Joshua bakal menantang mantan juara UFC, Francis Ngannou dalam duel selanjutnya. (Hendy AS/Skor.id)

SKOR.id – Petinju kelas berat asal Inggris, Anthony Joshua, telah dikonfirmasi akan kembali naik ring dalam waktu dekat.

Joshua direncanakan berduel melawan Francis Ngannou, yang merupakan mantan juara kelas berat UFC

Promotor tinju Eddie Hearn mengatakan duel Joshua dan Ngannou dijadwalkan berlangsung di Riyadh, Arab Saudi pada 9 Maret 2024.

“Malam ini kami mengonfirmasi bahwa ini adalah Kesepakatan Selesai,” bunyi unggahan Eddie Hearn di media sosial X (sebelumnya Twitter).

"Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou berduel pada malam besar di Riyadh, Arab Saudi. Konferensi pers 15 Januari di London dengan rincian lengkap segera diumumkan!" 

Anthony Joshua belum lama ini berhasil menang TKO atas petinju Swedia, Otto Wallin. Kemenangan tersebut diraih Joshua dalam duel bertajuk ‘Day of Reckoning’ yang juga dihelat di Riyadh, tepatnya di Kingdom Arena pada Desember lalu.

Sejatinya setelah menang atas Otto Wallin, Joshua akan menantang mantan juara kelas berat WBC Deontay Wilder.

Sayangnya petinju Amerika Serikat tersebut justru mengalami kekalahan mengejutkan dari penantang dari Selandia Baru, Joseph Parker dalam event yang sama dengan Joshua di Arab Saudi.

Alhasil karena kekalahan yang dialami Wilder, duel antara bintang tinju dunia itu harus pupus dan Joshua akhirnya bakal dipertemukan dengan Francis Ngannou sebagai lawan barunya.

Sementara itu, Francis Ngannou banting setir menjadi petinju setelah berselisih dengan UFC perihal kontrak. Ia akhirnya memilih merelakan sabuk kelas beratnya dan keluar dari UFC pada Januari 2023 lalu.

Sepuluh bulan kemudian, Ngannou melakukan debut tinju profesionalnya dengan menantang pemegang sabuk gelar WBC, Tyson Fury, di Arab Saudi pada 28 Oktober 2023.

Dalam duel tinju perdananya itu, ia kalah angka lewat split decision. Salah satu juri memberi Ngannou skor 95-94, namun dua juri lainnya memberi Fury skor 96-93, 95-94. 

Meski kalah, Francis Ngannou mampu memberikan kejutan ketika ia berhasil menjatuhkan Fury ke kanvas dengan pukulan hook kirinya dan sempat mengubah prediksi jalannya laga.

Menyusul kekalahannya dari Fury, Francis Ngannou kini menduduki peringkat 10 divisi kelas berat oleh Dewan Tinju Dunia (WBC).

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