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Ricky Hatton Interview: Hatton explains big Joshua ‘worry’ ahead of Ngannou fight

Owen Fulda

Hatton explains big Joshua ‘worry’ ahead of Ngannou fight

In an exclusive interview with Instant Casinos, former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton gave the lowdown on Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou in Riyadh this Friday night.

The Hitman issued AJ with a stern warning about not taking the former UFC fighter lightly but also revealed why he thinks the Brit has the upper hand and won’t be forced to rely on a bailout from the judges like Tyson Fury was last year. 

Interview highlights:

  • Joshua can get hit and hurt because he’s easier to hit than Fury 
  • AJ won’t underestimate Ngannou and he will shine in Riyadh
  • ‘Mini breakdown’ after Usyk defeat should have been prevented



Hatton explains big Joshua ‘worry’ ahead of Ngannou fight

Ricky Hatton has warned Anthony Joshua that he risks being hit hard and hurt by Francis Ngannou, if he fails to maintain his footwork and ring mobility throughout the fight;

Ricky Hatton: “It is a very interesting fight because AJ, as much as we love him, he can get hit and hurt. This could be a tricky night. Normally, from a defensive point of view, Fury is a lot harder to hit than AJ. I mean, AJ can sometimes be in front of you a little bit too much, which worries me in the Ngannou fight a little bit. There’s every chance that if Ngannou lands clean he could win, but if you’re asking me where my last pound would go, I think it’d be on AJ.”

AJ won’t fall into the Ngannou trap like Tyson Fury did

Joshua’s confidence is high after three consecutive wins ahead of Friday’s ‘Knockout Chaos’, but Hatton reckons the complacency which saw Tyson Fury knocked down by Ngannou shouldn’t be an issue for AJ;

Ricky Hatton: “AJ has come back strongly. His performances have been getting better and better all the time. I think he’s going to shine against Ngannou. I think Fury took Ngannou lightly, he didn’t come in in the best of shape. Tyson was very easy to hit because he didn’t come in as trim as he normally does, so his upper body movement wasn’t good and Ngannou was able to nail him. I think this is a fight where AJ can shine. He does have great boxing ability, he’s won an Olympic gold medal and he’s a two-time heavyweight champion for a reason.”

Team AJ should’ve prevented mic meltdown after Usyk loss

Joshua lost a split decision to Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch, resulting in an explosive rant which saw AJ throw the heavyweight world title belts out of the ring. Hatton questioned why no one from his team stopped him from embarrassing himself after the defeat;

Ricky Hatton: “[Joshua’s actions] after the Usyk fight were very worrying for me. Even on the night after the fight, his head obviously wasn’t in the right place. He looked like he was having a mini breakdown when he threw the belt into the crowd and he got the mic and made that speech. I was in Tenerife watching it. I’ve met AJ loads of times and we’re all proud of him but I was screaming at the TV for someone to get the mic off him. Get your arm around him and get him back in the changing rooms. Come on, who’s looking after him here? It was a little bit worrying to be honest with you.”

Owen Fulda

Owen is an experienced and established sports journalist who has worked in the industry for well over a decade. Having graduated from News Associates, he has subsequently featured in publications from the UK to Australia, including the Daily Star and the Express. Prior to this he sharpened his knowledge of online bookmaking at EasyOdds and wrote various features at KCW Today. He specialises in football, cricket and NFL but has knowledge of virtually all sports.