Anthony Joshua sends heartfelt message after death of Francis Ngannou’s young son

Anthony Joshua has offered his condolences to his recent opponent Francis Ngannou, after the latter announced the death of his 15-month-old son this week.

Ngannou took to social media on Monday (29 April) to share the news that his son Kobe had passed away on Saturday, mourning the death of “my little boy, my mate, my partner”.

Joshua, who boxed the former UFC champion in March and won via knockout, was among those to comment on Ngannou’s Instagram post, writing: “May the memories you shared bring you comfort.”

Joshua knocked out Ngannou in the second round when they fought in Saudi Arabia, but the Briton continued to praise respect the Cameroonian, 37, after the bout.

“Too soon to leave but yet he’s gone,” Ngannou wrote on Monday. “My little boy, my mate, my partner Kobe was full of life and joy. Now, he’s laying without life.

”I was my best self next to him and now I have no clue of who I am. Life is so unfair to hit us where it hurts the most. How do you deal with such a thing? How can you live with it? Please help me if you have an idea because I really don’t know what to do and how to deal with this.”

Conor McGregor also paid his respects to Ngannou, writing: “I am so sorry to hear of your loss Francis, my prayers are with you and your family at this time.”

Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick added: “It’s been a heavy few days, words can’t express the pain we all feel for the Ngannou family during this time. Please keep Francis and his family in your heart, and may this be a reminder of the fragility of life. Say ‘I love you’ more often, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

Before making his boxing debut against Tyson Fury in October, when Ngannou lost a controversial decision in Riyadh, the “Predator” reigned as UFC heavyweight champion. He is regarded as the most devastating puncher in UFC history, and is currently set to resume his mixed martial arts career with the Professional Fighters League.