Francis Ngannou eyes upset against 'nervous' Anthony Joshua after giving Tyson Fury major scare

Francis Ngannou believes Anthony Joshua has been “a little nervous” in the build-up to their heavyweight showdown.

After going the full ten rounds with Tyson Fury last year, and dropping the WBC champion to the canvas, Ngannou now takes on Joshua in his second professional boxing bout on Friday night.

Joshua is the favourite to get the job done and set-up a potential world title bout against Filip Hrgovic, or a shot at either Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk after their undisputed fight in May.

But having given Fury a major scare, in a fight many believed he should have won on points, Ngannou is confident he can now derail Joshua’s plans and is sensing anxiety from his opponent.

“We were doing the promo and he was very chilled, very relaxed,” Ngannou said.

“I asked him if he was OK, because he looked a little nervous or something. I asked him if he was OK, because I was OK. I had no problems. I was just talking around, laughing.

“I think we are both professional enough to know what we have to do to get to where we want to go.”

While Ngannou hit the pads during his public workout on Wednesday, Joshua used his slot to briefly do some shadow boxing before leaning on the ropes and watching on after inviting a group of young Saudi Arabian boxers into the ring.

Asked why he had decided against entertaining the fans in attendance, Joshua said: “I’m here to fight.

“I wasn’t acknowledging that with all due respect, I’m here to fight.”

The Briton was not in a particularly talkative mood, but his trainer Ben Davison, having watched Ngannou’s workout from ringside, revealed his confidence will Joshua could get the job done inside the distance.

“We won’t go in there looking for it, forcing it,” Davison responded when quizzed on whether Joshua was seeking a knockout.

“I’m convinced that [Ngannou] won’t be able to do the rounds with the way that AJ is going to approach the fight.

“Not because he’s not able to physically do the rounds. Just the approach that AJ is going to take and the lack of experience that Ngannou has.

“The false confidence that he’s got from doing the ten rounds in the manner that he done them, I do see him struggling to do the ten rounds [this time].”