Former two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has told promoter Eddie Hearn that he has absolutely no interest in fighting newcomer Francis Ngannou but he is focused on becoming a world champion again.
The British-Nigerian said this to Hearn when they discussed the opportunity of the big-money crossover clash.
The 44-year-old boxing promoter explained that Joshua expressed zero interest in taking on the former UFC heavyweight champion, despite knowing the major money that could be earned.
When they discussed the possibility, the Hearn claims that it was not even on his fighter’s radar, which is covered completely by his path back to heavyweight gold.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Hearn said that Joshua said during their discussions that he had, “Absolutely no interest at all,” in the fight, before adding, “I want to become heavyweight world champion again, I’ve got no interest in fighting Francis Ngannou.”
Previously, Hearn had discussed the notion of contacting Ngannou’s team and advising Joshua to take the fight in a heartbeat.
“Francis Ngannou came to me, we had a very nice meeting and he’s got a great story,” Hearn said.
“He came to me because he wanted to fight Anthony Joshua. I went straight to AJ, I’ve said ‘look it’s a bit of a left-field one’ and don’t forget Anthony Joshua is not a world champion and didn’t have a shot at the world championship.”
However, the Watford man completely shut down any chances of discussions further and remains locked in negotiations with American Deontay Wilder for a mega-fight in January or Februay 2024.
WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury survived what could have been the biggest upset in the history of boxing in a fight against Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Fury claimed a controversial split decision victory over former Ngannou in a ‘Battle of the Baddest’ fight on October 28.