Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua full results: Joshua quickly KOs Ngannou

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 08: Anthony Joshua punches Francis Ngannou during the Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou on the Knockout Chaos boxing card at the Kingdom Arena on March 08, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 08: Anthony Joshua punches Francis Ngannou during the Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou on the Knockout Chaos boxing card at the Kingdom Arena on March 08, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images) (Richard Pelham via Getty Images)

Francis Ngannou had perhaps the best loss in a professional debut boxing has ever seen. Then he faced Anthony Joshua.

The former UFC heavyweight champion was knocked out cold in just two rounds by the former unified heavyweight champion, who proved to be much more of a problem for Ngannou than WBC champion Tyson Fury had in October.

Ngannou entered that Fury match as a heavy underdog against the champion — one promoter called the matchup "a disgrace" — but he differentiated himself from the many MMA fighters-turned-boxers with a performance that wouldn't have looked out of place from a seasoned heavyweight contender. He managed to knock down Fury in the third round and had the crowd chanting his name in the final round.

He had no such luck Friday in Riyadh. He was knocked down once in the first round and twice in the second, likely ending the Cameroonian's short-lived boxing career.

In a slog of a co-main event, Zhilei Zhang scored two knockdowns against Joseph Parker, but it wasn't enough as Parker walked away with a majority decision to claim the WBC interim heavyweight title. Zhang took his foot off the pedal after both knockdowns, which came in rounds 3 and 6, and Parker stayed busy enough for the points win.

"I feel like we're on the up now, Zhang is a tough man," Parker said in his post-fight interview. "He knocked me down twice. I'm very happy, I'm going to go home and celebrate. Hard work, hard work, hard work. It's an incredible feeling, look where we are. What's next is I'm fighting Zhang again, that's what we're contracted to."

Here's how the entire card unfolded in Saudi Arabia:

  • "Don't leave boxing, don't do it," Joshua is overheard telling a still dazed Ngannou

  • Ngannou is still being tended to. AJ stayed composed even after the nasty KO completely put Ngannou's lights out.


  • Down goes Ngannou again!!

  • AJ looking supremely confident now in the second.

  • Ngannou switche to southpaw for some reason midway through the first allowing AJ to adapt and land that huge knockdown. 10-8 after Round 1.

  • AJ knocks down Ngannou two minutes into the fight with a big right hand!

  • No anthems! Fight is on now!

  • Francis Ngannou is in the ring and Anthony Joshua is making his ring walk now. Fight might actually begin before 3:40 a.m. local time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • Parker says in his post-fight interview that he's contracted to give Zhang a rematch. Yay?

  • Despite being knocked down twice, Parker wins the interim title by scores of 113-113, 114-112 and 115-111.

  • Trainer told Zhang he needs a KO before the 12th, but Zhang must not have heard as he barely throws any punches. Fight ends after 12 and now it's in the judges' hands.

  • 12th round starting now

  • Zero urgency from Zhang as the fight heads into the 11th round. Parker keeps throwing shots and Zhang is deflecting. Corner tells Parker he's fighting a smart fight in between rounds.

  • Zhang puts Parker down again! This time with a right hook! Again, Parker hops back up to continue fighting.

  • The knockdown sparked some urgency in Parker yet had the opposite effect on Zhang, whose output has slowed the last two rounds.

  • A big right hook shakes Zhang as Parker begins to pick up the pace. Zhang staying methodical.

  • Parker jumping right back into the action instead of taking some time to recompose himself was probably a mistake, but he does survive the round. Zhang can finish it now in the 4th.

  • Parker hops back up, but he's shaken.

  • Zhang sits Parker down with a straight left!

  • Zhang staying patient and landing some heavy shots to the body. Parker picking his spots without much success. Two feeling-out rounds in the books.

  • The co-main event ring walks are actually starting! It's a 12-rounder with Zhilei Zhang's WBO interim heavyweight title on the line against Joseph Parker. Zhang is a massive 291 pounds while Parker weighed in at 247. The heavyweight chaos begins now.

  • Big Bang Zhang up next defending his interim heavyweight title against Joseph Parker. He's entering the fight as a -225 favorite. Parker is +188.

  • Judges score it 114-112 Vargas, 116-110 Ball and 113-113 for a split draw. Vargas retains his WBC featherweight title despite hitting the canvas multiple times.

  • We're going to the scorecards. Ball came on strong late and scored some knockdowns that could be the difference

  • The knockdown in the 11th will likely decide the fight. Fight could've gone either way before that. 12th round starting now.

  • Down goes Vargas again!

  • Vargas back on track in Round 9 and likely won the round. Landed some clean shots while Ball continues pressing forward.

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua main card results, highlights

Heavyweight: Anthony Joshua def. Francis Ngannou by KO in R2:

Heavyweight: Joseph Parker def. Zhilei Zhang by majority decision (113-113, 114-112, 115-111)
Featherweight championship: Rey Vargas vs. Nick Ball ends in a split draw (114-112, 110-116, 113-113
Super welterweight championship: Israil Madrimov def. Magomed Kurbanov by TKO in R5
Lightweight: Mark Chamberlain def. Gavin Gwynne by TKO in R4:

Heavyweight: Justis Huni def. Kevin Lerena by unanimous decision (96-94, 96-94, 98-92)

Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Joshua preliminary card results, highlights

Super welterweight: Louis Greene def. Jack McGann by TKO at 1:29 of R1:

Heavyweight: Andrii Novytskyi def. Juan Torres by TKO at 2:43 of R1
Super lightweight: Ziyad Almaayouf def. Christian Lopez Flores by decision (60-54)
Heavyweight: Roman Fury def. Martin Svarc by decision (39-37)