Anthony Joshua: “This fight is my everything. I’m not focused on championship belts right now. My main goal is Francis. I train intensely because that reflects in the ring. Victory in training leads to victory in the ring. The belts can wait; my focus is on training and the upcoming fight.
Working with Ben Davison and the academy team has been great. I still connect with Derrick James in the States. Being home with someone equally skilled helps me seek greatness. I keep pushing myself in every way. Each challenge reveals more about me, even though I know who I am. I learn new things that help me reach new heights.
Francis is like other fighters in physicality but different in mindset. That’s what I need to conquer. It’s not just about physicality; it’s about taking their spirit. I’m excited for this challenge. We can both adapt our fighting styles, making this an exciting fight. Shout out to my promoter and team at 258 for this opportunity to show why I’m the UK’s top Heavyweight. I’m focused on dominating here before thinking globally.”
“Thanks to everyone for this dream opportunity. I’m still learning and training hard. I won’t underestimate this fight. I don’t rely on my last fight as a reference. I’m improving and preparing for a tough fight. This feels more significant than before, like it could lead to an Undisputed fight. I’ll do something unprecedented starting with defeating ‘AJ’ on March 8. I aim to find his weaknesses in the fight. That’s my goal.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“I’m grateful to the Crown Prince and His Excellency. This is like a dream for a boxing fan, making big fights happen. In five months, we’ve had Fury vs. Ngannou, Fury vs. Usyk, and ‘AJ’ vs. Ngannou. This is a thrilling time for boxing, driven by someone passionate and knowledgeable about the sport.
I underestimated Francis initially. His performance against Tyson was remarkable. It’s rare to see such an achievement in a debut. Now, we see him as a serious contender. ‘AJ’ vs. Ngannou is a huge fight. We’re presenting the biggest Heavyweight fights in Saudi Arabia. ‘AJ’ is embracing a challenging path, facing formidable opponents. We’re excited about this golden opportunity for boxing.”
Frank Warren, Founder of Queensberry Promotions:
“We owe a lot to His Excellency and his team for making these events happen. They’ve brought Eddie and me together to create big fights. We’re in a golden age of boxing, and these events are a testament to that. Criticism from others is unwarranted; this is great for the sport. Boxing fans are witnessing history.
Before Tyson fought Ngannou, I expected a straightforward victory for Tyson. But Ngannou surprised us with his boxing skills. ‘AJ’ is taking a risk by fighting Ngannou, who’s shown his capability. This fight promises to be explosive, and the winner could face the victor of Tyson and Usyk’s upcoming bout.”
Dewey Cooper (trainer of Francis Ngannou):
“We knew what to expect from the Tyson Fury fight. We’re prepared for ‘AJ’ and anticipate a fiery fight, confident that Francis’s power will secure victory in Riyadh.”