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Joseph Parker's Rematch Hopes Dashed as Anthony Joshua-Ngannou Showdown Takes Center Stage

Promoter Eddie Hearn has announced that Joseph Parker’s aspirations for a rematch with Anthony Joshua will have to be put on hold, as Joshua is now set to face former UFC star Francis Ngannou in a high-profile showdown in Saudi Arabia. The announcement comes after Ngannou’s loss to Tyson Fury in October, marking his professional boxing debut.


Initially, Joshua, 34, was scheduled to face Deontay Wilder after a triumphant victory over Otto Wallin. However, Wilder’s unexpected defeat to Parker derailed plans for their much-anticipated bout. Parker, expressing interest in a rematch with Joshua, will now have to wait for the outcome of the Ngannou clash.


Eddie Hearn took to social media to confirm the blockbuster fight, stating, “it’s a done deal.” The Joshua-Ngannou collision is set to unfold on a significant night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a potential date of March 9 mentioned. Hearn promised more details would be revealed at a press conference in London on January 15.


Ngannou, 37, born in Cameroon, gained recognition as the number 10 heavyweight by the WBC after his competitive performance against WBC heavyweight champion Fury, resulting in a controversial split decision loss in their Saudi Arabia bout.


The Saudi organizers had initially eyed a Joshua-Wilder bout for this year, but Wilder’s decisive defeat by Parker on the same card as Joshua’s win over Wallin altered those plans. Despite no signed contract, Joshua and Wilder were expected to announce a mega-fight post-fight, but the turn of events has shifted the spotlight to the impending Joshua-Ngannou clash.


In the broader heavyweight landscape, Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are set to fight for undisputed heavyweight supremacy on February 17 in Saudi Arabia. Fury, the WBC champion, will face Usyk, the WBA, WBO, and IBF belt holder, in a historic bout aiming to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 1999.


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