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Francis Ngannou's threat to Anthony Joshua - How the former UFC champion dropped Tyson Fury

Watch the moment Francis Ngannou knocked down Tyson Fury and shocked the world; Former champion Enzo Maccarinelli examines what made Ngannou so effective against Fury and considers what kind of threat he poses to Anthony Joshua; Watch Joshua vs Ngannou on Sky Sports Box Office on March 8

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Relive the moment when Francis Ngannou shocked the boxing world when he knocked down Tyson Fury in 2023

No one expected Francis Ngannou to send Tyson Fury crashing to the canvas.

But the UFC heavyweight champion, having his first professional boxing bout, clubbed Fury round the head with a left hook that dropped the Briton heavily in just the third round.

Fury only managed to hold off Ngannou for a split decision win over 10 tough rounds.

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One Championship kickboxer Liam Harrison joins Sky Sports' Nik Hobbs and John Dennen on the MMA Club to preview Francis Ngannou's blockbuster fight against Anthony Joshua

The knockdown Ngannou engineered and his overall performance was stunning to see.

Enzo Maccarinelli, the former WBO cruiserweight champion and MMA expert, explained how he did it.

"I think he came up with a plan," Maccarinelli told Sky Sports. "Fury likes people coming at him. He likes people throwing shots at him. That's where he counters and moves round, makes them miss, makes them fall short.

"Ngannou, he held his ground, he waited, he was patient more than anything else."

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That's not normally how the UFC champion fights.

"I've watched Ngannou, he's a powerhouse, he comes in and throws good shots. I don't think he's very well skilled [in] boxing but he can punch, he can throw his shots and he's very committed when he threw a shot. So that's what I was expecting to see," Maccarinelli said.

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Former World Champion and MMA fan Enzo Maccarinelli discusses how Francis Ngannou has evolved from the MMA cage to the boxing ring

"I was expecting this big powerhouse of a man, who makes himself bigger, gives himself an aura. But I think he knew Fury wouldn't fall for that. Fury wasn't scared of that."

Not only was Ngannou's approach to the bout a surprise, Fury also didn't appear concerned enough about him as an opponent.

"I don't think Fury was scared," Maccarinelli said. "He looked heavier than normal, his reflexes weren't as fast. When Fury fights he needs to be fit.

"For Fury to box the way he does, he needs reflexes, he needs fitness. And they just weren't there that night."

Next Ngannou will box Anthony Joshua, formerly a two-time unified champion, live on Sky Sports Box Office on Friday March 8.

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Former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson believes it would be the end of Anthony Joshua's career if the Brit loses to Francis Ngannou but says he can't see anything but a victory for AJ

This will only be Ngannou's second professional boxing contest, but could he pose a similar threat to Joshua as he did to Fury?

"He is dangerous. You've got to remember the gloves they use, they're not massive," Maccarinelli said.

"I know a couple of boys who have fought in the UFC who tried some of my gloves on I used to fight in and stuff like that and they can't believe how small they are. They're solid as well. What they do is they offer better defence.

"It's a dangerous fight for AJ. If he takes his eye off the ball, there's an opportunity he could get caught.

"I don't think so. We've seen how well Ngannou performed against Fury, I think that has switched [Joshua] on. That has made him realise I can't go messing around with this guy. So it's going to be interesting.

"He's got masses to gain but he's got masses to lose as well. Because [Ngannou] is still an MMA fighter.

"Of course, he could [knock AJ down], he's got the power. I don't think [he will].

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Francis Ngannou has already given Anthony Joshua a chilling prediction of his strategy for March 8, live on Sky Sports Box Office

"When you look at it as a whole AJ should be beating Ngannou, he should be beating Ngannou well. But Fury was also supposed to."

Although he expects Joshua to be better prepared, Maccarinelli also thinks he will be facing a more formidable Ngannou.

"Maybe what he's done with Fury has given him that little bit more confidence. Confidence is a massive thing in boxing. If he can come out and catch AJ early, make AJ worry about what's coming at him, start bringing the nerves back from the Andy Ruiz fight, the shot he took off Klitschko, he might have a good chance. I am expecting Ngannou to come out fast," the Welshman said.

"We've got to give him credit," Maccarinelli added of Ngannou. "Going in to fight arguably the No 1 and arguably the No 3 in the world in his first two fights, I take my hat off to him.

"He's not going to mess about. He is coming to win."

Watch Joshua vs Ngannou live on Sky Sports Box Office on March 8.

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