Dillian Whyte: Francis Ngannou Had No Business Being In The Ring With Anthony Joshua

March 13, 2024
1 month
Dillian Whyte

British heavyweight Dillian Whyte has said Francis Ngannou was full of “false confidence” ahead of his devastating knockout defeat by Anthony Joshua last Friday.

Ngannou entered the ‘Knockout Chaos’ headline bout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia following an impressive professional boxing debut last October, when he pushed Tyson Fury to a split decision and knocked the WBC and lineal world champion down in the third round.

That performance earned the Cameroonian a top-10 ranking by the WBC and paved the way for his fight with Joshua. But any hopes of a shock victory were swiftly dashed when AJ knocked Ngannou out cold in the second round having already put the MMA star on the canvas twice before.

While some tried to insist the fight could be 50-50, those predictions seem laughable now, and Whyte insisted he never gave Ngannou a chance.

Whyte ‘Picked AJ To Win Anyway’

“Francis is not experienced enough to beat the top guys. He got a bit complacent because he did well against Fury but Fury didn’t take him seriously,” Whyte, 35, told Sky Sports. “Fury just thought he was going to outbox him and he gave Fury some problems but that was his undoing.

“I think that fight gave him false confidence to the point where, when he was getting hammered with big punches, he stayed in the pocket and he wasn’t trying to move his head or hold or anything.

“He went down, stood up in the same place. Didn’t move his head, went down, stood up in the same place and basically waited for the third right hand. So, I knew it was going to happen and I picked AJ to win anyway.

“AJ is a puncher and you don’t just stand up in front of someone like AJ with your hands basically down and then switching stances mid-fight against a right-handed puncher. Why did he go southpaw? It didn’t make any sense.

“I just knew that AJ’s experience and his power would be too much. I thought Francis would be a little bit better, to be honest, but Francis … he’s doing boxing, but it’s not recognised boxing training so he hasn’t covered the basics. Someone like AJ, an experienced gold medallist, all these world title fights, he covers the basics on a daily basis and that is where Francis came unstuck.”

Whyte Excited To Be Back

Whyte fought Joshua earlier in their respective careers and suffered a seventh-round knockout. A rematch had been scheduled for August last year only for the ‘Body Snatcher’ to fail a drug test. He has since been cleared to return to the ring after evidence emerged of a contaminated supplement.

The former WBC interim champion makes his comeback against Christian Hammer in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday, and he is determined to get his career back on track. With so much happening in the heavyweight division, particularly since the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Whyte wants to get himself back up the rankings and challenging for titles again.

“I am very excited, it is very good to be back and I’ll be looking at opportunities in the future,” Whyte said. “I have been meaning to return to Ireland for a while, I have got family from here and they can come down to the fight.

 “Christian Hammer, he is a guy I know, tough guy. Experienced in a lot of fights. It’s a very good fight, considering I have been off for 16 months. Very good fight to come back to. I still want the world title and I still want to fight all the big fights. There are a lot of big fights going on and I want my name to get back amongst the mix and to prove I can still beat these guys.”