Francis Ngannou’s Coach Reacts To Anthony Joshua Matchup: ‘We’re Like Mercenaries Now’

Eric Nicksick gives his first take on Ngannou's upcoming boxing match.

Ngannou Wrap
(via @francisngannou - Instagram)

Eric Nicksick is getting Francis Ngannou ready for war.

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion will return to the ring after nearly upsetting Tyson Fury in October. Ngannou’s second boxing bout will come against another big name in former champ Anthony Joshua.

Nicksick: Just Send Us A Name And Let’s Go Execute It’

Ngannou will have Xtreme Couture’s Nicksick in his corner once again. The longtime coach gives his first take on the Joshua matchup as the news came out just a week ago.

“I wish I could tell you it was a lot like the Tyson Fury fight where we knew a month ahead of time. This one wasn’t like that at all,” Nicksick said Ngannou vs. Joshua on ‘Weighing In’. “This one came up pretty quick. Dewey [Cooper] and Francis were in conversations about this being a possibility. I got the text from the big guy, ‘yo, it’s on’. That was really it.

Marquel [Martin] sent me a text and just said, ‘party’. When I said, ‘who we got?’ and he said, ‘AJ’, I sent a dinner plate [emoji] back.

“We’re like mercenaries now,” Nicksick added. “Just send us a name and let’s go execute it.”

Differences Between Fighting Fury And Joshua

And execute, they shall try on March 8th. For now, coach Nicksick is hard at work studying Joshua’s tape and finding the right game plan for Ngannou to utilize in one of the biggest fights of his life. 

“I think he’s gonna be there, I think he’s gonna be in the pocket for us,” Nicksick said of Joshua. “Whereas with Tyson it was a lot of understanding the geography of the boxing ring and the angles that we wanted to try to create to where we can funnel him to limit Tyson Fury’s movement. That’s where he’s so good.

So, if we could put him in a corner post, it limits the movements and limits the exits that he has. So, that’s where you saw a lot of our offense was when we get him backed up to turn buckles.”

As the old saying goes, styles make fights and team Ngannou is counting on it.

“I feel like with Joshua, he does have a ring ownership, but he’s very plotty,” Nicksick continued. “He’s gonna stay kind of in the middle. He works behind his jab very, very well. I think that’s something that we’re gonna have to look to try to exploit is the pull counters off the jab, how to occupy it, how to come over top of it and really just kinda still build on some of the things that we were doing in the Tyson Fury camp.

“Then, carry it over into the Joshua camp as well— some of the things we didn’t even really show in the Tyson Fury fight that I think we’ll still be able to do in this fight in particular.”

Nicksick’s Taking Notes

Nicksick is making sure to do his homework on Joshua ahead of the Saudi Arabia showdown.

“The one thing that really stands out to me was the [Oleksandr] Usyk-Joshua fight and watching a southpaw Usyk attack Anthony Joshua. [I’ll be] taking some of the things that I saw that Usyk did and apply it into Francis, but put our own kind of flare onto it.”

Published on January 12, 2024 at 8:24 pm
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