Dan Hardy believes Anthony Joshua will fold under pressure and lose his upcoming boxing match against Francis Ngannou.
In late 2023, the combat sports community didn’t know what to expect when Ngannou fought WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury in a boxing match. Safe to say, nearly everyone’s predictions were wrong as ‘The Predator’ knocked down and nearly defeated Fury.
Ngannou’s performance against Fury solidified him as one of the premier superstars in heavyweight boxing. As a result, the former UFC heavyweight champion secured another massive payday by booking a ten-round boxing match against Joshua on March 8.
There’s an argument to be made that Fury was caught off guard by Ngannou’s boxing skills. Therefore, some analysts, including Dan Hardy, believe Joshua will have an advantage by knowing what to expect against the Cameroonian legend.
Hardy had this to say during a recent interview with TNT Sports:
“This is the benefit of AJ going second. There isn’t the surprise factor around Ngannou. Of course, you have to expect him to have made improvements, but the big surprise was how he was going to look the first time. AJ knows that now. The other thing as well, AJ is not going to show up halfway through a training camp, not fully prepared. He’s going to give Ngannou all of the respect he deserves.”
“So, I expect a very supremely conditioned Anthony Joshua that’s quite cautious. He’s going to be working behind his lead hand, and he’s going to be keeping that rear hand super tight to his chin. I don’t think he’s going to step outside of himself too much until he really feels like he’s got a good read on Ngannou.”
Dan Hardy predicts Francis Ngannou will defeat Anthony Joshua
According to Bovada, Anthony Joshua is a sizeable betting favorite at -485, with Francis Ngannou as a +320 underdog. Although Ngannou nearly defeated Tyson Fury, the oddsmakers seem confident that ‘AJ’ will emerge victorious on March 8.
As for Dan Hardy, the fighter-turned-analyst is backing Ngannou to pull off the upset. Hardy explained his prediction by saying this during the previously mentioned interview with TNT Sports:
“Tyson is a much more difficult person to hit than AJ. For me, AJ pushes really well behind his jab, but he leaves himself in range. That’s where the counter punches for Ngannou, even if they are landing on the guard, I still think he’s going to be able to rock him and move him around, and then, of course, the psychological impact of my goodness this guy hits really hard. Then you clinch up with him, and he’s incredibly strong as well.”
“There are a couple different moments in these opening rounds where AJ could really start to panic when he realizes what he’s up against, and I don’t think he has the composure that Tyson had to at least hold it together for ten rounds.”
Hardy concluded by confirming he is picking Ngannou to defeat Joshua:
“I thought Tyson was gonna do the last one, and I still feel like Ngannou won the fight. I feel like it’s a much more winnable fight for Ngannou, and I am going to back him in this one.”
Francis Ngannou has every tool needed to secure a life-changing win on March 8. With that said, it’ll be easier said than done, as Anthony Joshua has looked phenomenal throughout his last three fights, especially his latest win against Otto Wallin in December 2023.
Watch Dan Hardy’s entire interview with TNT Sports below: