|RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (15 January, 2024) – H.E. Advisor Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority, proudly announces ‘Knockout Chaos’ headlined by former unified World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua in a mouth watering match up against MMA superstar and now Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou on Friday 8 March at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.
The event is being delivered to fans across the world by The General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, Goldstar Promotions and GIMIK Fight Promotions.
Previously the WBA, IBF and WBO World Champion, Joshua completed a busy and successful year on 23 December 2023 when he defeated Otto Wallin in five rounds in a headline attraction on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh, a fight which marked his return to the elite end of the Heavyweight rankings.
Former UFC Heavyweight champion Ngannou entered the world of boxing when he competed in the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ against WBC World Champion Tyson Fury, which opened Riyadh Season on 28 October 2023. The fight boomed into life towards the end of the third round when Ngannou landed a left hook to the temple of Fury’s head and the champion was put to the canvas.
Ngannou winning the respect and admiration of boxing fans across the globe with a remarkable performance. Now, in what will be his second professional fight, Ngannou takes on the other most popular heavyweight on the planet.
H.E. Alalshikh states that: “‘Knockout Chaos’ is one of the most important events to take place in Riyadh Season so far this year, an occasion which will bring together yet more international champions from one of the most popular sports in the world.”
“I will be ready to go once the first bell rings.” Insists the two-time former unified World Champion Joshua “ I will approach this mission with laser focus until the job is complete. I am looking forward to returning to Riyadh and I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the passion they have shown to myself and the sport of boxing.”
Ngannou pledges to continue silencing the doubters when he takes to the ring for his second professional fight.
“People have always doubted me and I always proved them wrong,” said the Cameroon-born star. ‘It is clear I am a trouble for elite boxers and AJ should prepare himself for a battle because I am like nothing he has ever faced. It is going to be another spectacle for boxing fans in Riyadh, only this time I have no intention of leaving it in the hands of the judges.”
Hall of Fame Promoter and Founder of Queensberry Promotions Frank Warren, added: “Friday 8 March in Riyadh will be another monumental event for the sport of boxing made possible by His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and his team, with who we have established a brilliantly productive working relationship. Riyadh Season has opened up new and thrilling frontiers for our great sport and, in Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, we have a further Heavyweight blockbuster that will surely capture the imagination of fans right across the world.”
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport and Joshua’s long time Promoter said: “This is undoubtedly one of the biggest fights in boxing and I am grateful His Excellency, Turki Alalshikh shares that view. We’re talking about two giants in Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, two men who look like they are carved out of stone, two devastating punchers. We are ready for another huge event in Saudi Arabia and a night full of drama. After AJ’s demolition of Otto Wallin he steps up against the former MMA Lineal champ. Francis has already proved his credentials in a thriller with Tyson Fury and comes into this clash full of confidence and fire. This is one of the biggest fights in the sport and one that can be over in the blink of an eye. When these two meet in Riyadh one thing is for sure… it will be Knockout Chaos!”
Manager of Ngannou, Marquel Martin of 3POINT0 Labs said: “Francis has proved he’s the baddest man on the planet against arguably the best boxer in the sport. Anthony Joshua has earned all the respect in the world for his accomplishments, but on March 8th he will realize he’s up against a man who has been through it all in life in Francis Ngannou. Thank you to His Excellency and the KSA for yet another epic Heavyweight showdown.”
To support one of the biggest fight in combat sports history, the event will also feature one of the most impressive undercards in boxing history.
The heavyweight division will take further shape when the Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) defends his WBO Interim world championship against former world champion Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) from New Zealand.
Rey Vargas (36-1, 22 KOs), the WBC World Champion from Mexico will make a first defence of his belt when he takes on No.1 contender, the Liverpool featherweight firebrand Nick Ball (19-0, 11 KOs).
Featuring on the card is a Battle of Britain at Lightweight, where top young contender and IBF European Champion Mark Chamberlain (14-0, 10 KOs) from England will challenge for the European Champion, Welshman Gavin Gwynne (17-2-1, 5 KOs).
Also performing in Riyadh will be Australian Heavyweight hopeful Justis Huni (8-0, 4 KOs), who will be looking to make his name in the flagship division (opponent details to be included ASAP) plus Cruiserweight prospect Roman Fury (3-0, 1 KO), British Super-Welterweight Jack McGann (9-0-1, 6 KOs) and local Saudi Arabian Super-Lightweight Ziyad Almaayouf (4-0, 1 KO).
About Riyadh Season
Saudi Arabia’s capital embraces one of the world’s biggest entertainment events every year during winter. Since the launch of Riyadh Season in 2019, the festival has welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience thousands of unique entertainment events, concerts, exhibitions and dining experiences. Riyadh Season 2023 commenced on Saturday, 28 October with a spectacular opening ceremony and the historic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, followed up by the ‘Day of Reckoning’ on December 23 featuring Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker as the headline fights.