Anthony Joshua delivers devastating blow as he brutally knocks out Francis Ngannou in second round

It was over before it really began in Saudi Arabia as Anthony Joshua pummeled his way past Francis Ngannou with a devastating knockout blow in the second round.

It was a much-needed victory for the 34-year-old Briton who has struggled to find his best boxing over the last few years. But this showing looked like the Joshua of old as he brutally eased past his opponent in Riyadh.

Coming into the fight, there was lots of excitement surrounding Ngannou in what was just his second ever professional boxing bout.

The French-Cameroonian had made a living in the UFC, where he had been heavyweight champion, but the veteran fighter fancied a change of scenery and moved from the octagon to the ring.

In his first professional fight, dubbed the ‘Battle of the Baddest,’ against Tyson Fury, Ngannou put on a good show with onlookers surprised by how quickly he adapted to life as a boxer and by how comfortable he looked against someone regarded as one of the finest heavyweights of all time.

This time around, however, it was very different.

Joshua's power proved to be too much for Ngannou. - Richard Pelham/Getty Images
Joshua's power proved to be too much for Ngannou. - Richard Pelham/Getty Images

From the opening bell, Joshua looked to assert himself on the sport’s newcomer. In the first round, Joshua felled his opponent with a lethal straight right hand and instantly seized control in the Saudi capital.

It was more of the same in the second round with Joshua coming out swinging and Ngannou struggling. A combination from Joshua landed Ngannou on the canvas again, this time the 37-year-old barely surviving the referee’s count.

It was all but game over at this point and just seconds later, Joshua danced down the canvas before landing a lethal right hand which sent Ngannou sprawling.

“I should be the WBC heavyweight champion of the world,” a defiant Joshua told reporters after the fight.

Joshua celebrates after defeating Ngannou. - Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images
Joshua celebrates after defeating Ngannou. - Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Ngannou was gracious in defeat when talking of the decisive blow and made comparisons to Fury post-fight.

“He was quite special because he stopped me. He did what Tyson Fury couldn’t do,” Ngannou told reporters.

Fury-Joshua is the fight that a large proportion of the boxing world wants to see and after this win for Joshua, it feels like it could be just around the corner.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, seems confident in knowing who’ll win that fight.

“Everyone knows he knocks out Tyson Fury, I’ve always believed it now it’s not even questionable,” Hearn told Sky Sports after the fight.

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