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Anthony Joshua promises 'straight-out war' as Francis Ngannou clashes with Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua is expecting a “straight-out war” with Francis Ngannou on Friday night.

After a successful 2023, in which Joshua beat Robert Helenius, Jermaine Franklin and Otto Wallin to get his career back on track, the Briton now turns his attention to Ngannou, who enters the boxing ring for just the second time.

The 37-year-old made his debut against Tyson Fury last year and many believed he should have won on points, after he dropped the WBC champion in an impressive performance.

Joshua knows victory over Ngannou would set up a potential shot at Fury, should he come through his undisputed showdown with Oleksandr Usyk, but he was respectful of his opponent at a friendly press conference on Wednesday.

“All will be revealed,” Joshua responded when asked about his tactics.

“Just straight-out war, relentless, a good fight. That’s what everyone is here for, a good fight.”

He added: “I spar, I do my film study, all that type of stuff. I keep it professional.

“But on the night is on the night. That’s different. All that textbook stuff goes out the window. You’ve just got to be relentless, give it your best. It’s already written in the stars what’s going to happen, I’m just going to follow my destiny.”

The main entertainment came earlier in the press conference, as Ngannou claimed he beat Fury last year and was duly heckled by the 35-year-old, who is in attendance in Riyadh this week.

Shouting from the front row, Fury told Ngannou he would give him “another hiding”, before the Cameroonian vowed to “wipe the ring” with him.

“Your only chance is in the boxing ring, with the boxing rules,” Ngannou continued.

“When you step off of the ring, you better stay five metres away before talking your s***, because if I lose it, you’re going to have a really bad time, my friend.

“Respect the fact that boxing is protecting you. Without that, you are nothing in front of me. I beat you every day, twice on Sunday.”