Amir Khan has backed former UFC world heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to have more success against Anthony Joshua than he did against Tyson Fury. 

Ngannou made his professional debut in boxing against WBC heavyweight champion Fury on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and dropped to a controversial and narrow split decision defeat to the Morecambe-based Fury. 

However, Ngannou shocked the boxing world by dropping Fury heavily courtesy of a long straight right hand, which floored Fury and nearly caused one of the sport’s great upsets. 

Ngannou, after his performance against Fury, was handed a top 10 rating by the WBC. 

Joshua, having rebuilt in 2023 after consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, faces Ngannou on March 8 in Saudi Arabia, with the winner of the contest in prime position to face the winner the May 18 undisputed heavyweight title fight between Usyk and Tyson Fury. 

Khan, in an interview with the YouTube platform All Out Fighting, backed his countryman to defeat Ngannou, but the retired former champion from Bolton believes the former UFC champion may find Joshua an easier target than Fury. 

“I think Joshua is a very smart fighter,” Khan told All Out Fighting. “It will still be a hard fight because you’ve got to understand, Ngannou’s got more confidence going into this fight, and he thinks he can hurt and knock out Joshua.

“He [Ngannou] says that Joshua’s got a weak chin, so he’s going to go for that and try to throw those big bombs. If he connects, who knows what might happen? One thing about the heavyweight division is that if one punch lands, it can change a fight.

“[Fury’s] one hard fighter to hit clean. So many top guys have tried to knock him out, knock him down or hurt him. Not to sound disrespectful; I like Joshua, I think he’s a great fighter, but I think he’s easier to hit than Fury.”

Khan, however, urged Joshua to restore boxing’s reputation following Ngannou’s showing against Fury and believes the public perception towards boxing took a hit last October.

“The way people look at boxing now, after that fight with Fury, is that boxers are a little bit weaker than MMA fighters,” Khan stated. “This is where Joshua needs to show them that boxers are not weaker but better and stronger.”