Former world champion Carl Froch is having a hard time picking a winner in a potential crossover clash between heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou.
Last month in Saudi Arabia, MMA veteran Ngannou made his professional boxing debut in a non-title fight against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
Most observers expected a complete mismatch, but Ngannou put on a very unexpected performance.
He dropped Fury in the third, cut him on the forehead with an uppercut, and caused bruising to Fury's left eye. The fight was competitive, with Fury winning a very close ten round split decision.
In the aftermath, Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, made it clear that he was ready and willing to match his man against Ngannou.
Hearn believes Joshua will win in dominant fashion - but Froch is not convinced of that scenario.
“It's a good fight and I can't pick a winner between Joshua and Ngannou because I'm still not convinced Joshua has got the desire to be a top level world champion again. It’s 50-50. I still need to see him in a fight where he looks confident and looks good. AJ’s fights against Helenius and Franklin tells me nothing about where AJ is, so based on that and Ngannou's performance against Fury, I can't pick a winner. I'd like to say Anthony Joshua beats him but based on his last two performances, I cannot pick a winner,” Froch said to Grosvenor Sports.
“Based on the fight with Tyson Fury, Ngannou is world level. He jumped straight in there with a top five heavyweight and he lost a split decision, so he's world level. I don't care if Fury had a bad night, he still should be able to take out someone on their pro debut. Fury may have gotten old overnight and now he's absolutely shattered, but I don't think he is. Fury is downplaying Ngannou’s performance but Ngannou made Fury look terrible, so when Eddie Hearn says Johnny Fisher can beat Ngannou, he's just building up his fighter, that's what promoters do.”