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Miriam Onyango

Claressa Shields Predicts Close Battle Between Anthony Joshua And Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua squaring off against Francis Ngannou is expected to be a competitive fight, according to boxing star and MMA competitor Claressa Shields. She predicts that there will be a split decision since she believes it will be so close. 

Ngannou is a former heavyweight boxing champion of the UFC who has only engaged in one professional fight. He will face Anthony Joshua, the two-time unified champion, on March 8.

In his most recent bout, Tyson Fury defeated Ngannou via a controversial split decision, and Shields thinks Joshua may face challenges in his matchup with the mixed martial artist.


“I think it’s going to be a good fight. At first I kind of felt that AJ was going to knock out Ngannou, that’s how I saw the fight. Now it’s kind of shifted on, I feel like it’ll be a split decision going either guy’s way,” Shields said in media reports.


“I say that because it feels like AJ has a lot to prove and I feel like when he’s got a lot to prove sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself and he doesn’t fight his fight. And if he doesn’t fight his fight against Francis, Francis is a big, strong and powerful guy too so it can be a closer fight. I believe that AJ has everything in the tank to beat Francis. He just has to do it,” she added.


Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and undisputed boxing champion, has a sincere respect for mixed martial arts (MMA), especially because she will be participating in the sport. The PFL SmartCage match for Shields is scheduled for this Saturday. 

“I say that [Joshua-Ngannou will be close] because of how competitive he was against Tyson Fury. Tyson Fury didn’t take the fight seriously. I think that us boxers have this mental thing where we feel like MMA fighters don’t have good boxing. But Francis is one of those fighters who does mostly stand up when he fights. So he has a pretty good boxing background, pretty good stand up,” said Shields.


“I feel like if Tyson had done his homework he would have seen, okay, this guy can definitely be a challenge,” she continued.

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