Robert Garcia has “no doubt” Anthony Joshua will again reign as world heavyweight champion – and he has also predicted Joshua will stop Francis Ngannou in three rounds.

Joshua and Ngannou fight on Friday evening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, aware that victory can secure a future date with the winner of the two fights between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed title.

It was Usyk that Garcia prepared Joshua for a rematch for, when despite defeat his performance was vastly improved. In the belief that Joshua is thriving after three fights in 2023 – he defeated Jermaine Franklin and stopped Robert Helenius and Otto Wallin – Garcia also expects him to similarly stop Ngannou in a way that the “embarrassing” Fury could not.

“He knocks him out in three rounds,” the respected trainer told Boxing Scene. “I don’t think he is in any danger at all. Tyson Fury was embarrassing against Ngannou; he was not in shape as he was not training, and I think it was embarrassing for Tyson Fury to fight like he did against him. I do believe Joshua knocks him [Ngannou] out in three rounds.

“He is a professional who is always in shape and takes all of his fights seriously. He will not do what Tyson Fury did because he knows this is a big fight.

“He has had three great wins in a row and is on a roll to become a world champion again.

“People are judging Ngannou on what he did against Fury, who wasn’t even training. Anthony Joshua has shown it in his last performance [against Wallin in December], which was the best out of his last three fights. Joshua needed activity, and now, three months later, he is fighting again and staying busy like champions should be.

“Staying busy; staying active, and fighting two to three times a year is what Anthony is doing, and that is why I think Ngannou has no chance at all.

“Anthony needs to set everything up off the jab, and when he sees the opening, let his right hand go which I don’t think he will have much trouble landing. He needs to measure everything off the jab, and when he sees the opening, let his hands go.

“Obviously, Ngannou hits very hard because he has got power. People think he hits so hard because Fury got dropped but Fury wasn’t in shape [and was] off-balance, so it wasn’t like Ngannou knocked him out cold.

“I just can’t see anything like that happening to Anthony Joshua, who I don’t think will even give Ngannou a chance to get lucky.”

It was after his solitary fight with Garcia that Joshua recruited as his trainer Derrick James. James was replaced by Ben Davison for the victory over Wallin, and will be in Joshua’s corner again on Friday night – and potentially against Fury, who Davison previously trained.

“I have no doubt at all [Joshua will win another title],” Garcia continued. “If we do see the undisputed fight with Fury and Usyk, whoever wins might retire as an undisputed champion. We will then have four belts available, and I think all four organisations would love to have Anthony Joshua fight for their vacant title. One of the four will give Anthony Joshua that opportunity, and he will become champion again.

“For Anthony, that is what he needs. He needs to see the difference to compare himself [to Fury]. Fury almost lost, and if Anthony goes out and destroys [Ngannou], that will help Anthony mentally and raise his confidence – knowing he did what Fury couldn’t do.

“That is something which will help Anthony if he goes out there and destroys Ngannou – and Fury almost lost to him. That will be a big plus for him if he can have a fight against Fury or even a third fight against Usyk. I think Joshua would put up a better fight against Usyk in a third fight.

“I don’t think [his improvement] has much to do with the trainer, but I do think it has a lot to do with Joshua’s ring activity. He has fought three times in one year; that is what has got him there. I really do believe it is down to him being more active. It could have been Derrick James in there with him, but he would have performed the same way.

“It is more about him being active, and that was one thing I told him before. He needed to be busy and be active, whether that was with me or without me. He needed to fight more often, which is what has happened, so the ring activity has benefited him and not so much the trainer.”