1) Boxers beat mixed martial artists in boxing rings

Yes, this should be quite obvious. However, the October exploits of Francis Ngannou – dropping Tyson Fury and almost beating him – did have us all questioning what we believed for a second back there. Thanks to Anthony Joshua, then, for clearing up any uncertainty and resuming normal service.


2) Ngannou had grown in confidence

Admittedly, this may now be a moot point, but the way in which Ngannou shaped up in Riyadh indicated he was full of self-belief, confident he would beat Joshua. Hands sometimes low, he even switched southpaw in round one, which, up until the point it became a bad decision, seemed almost arrogant.


3) Joshua can throw a perfect right hand

There was a cracking straight left thrown by Zhilei Zhang on the Riyadh undercard, yet Joshua went one better with his right in the very next fight. Perfectly executed, the right cross he landed in the opening round was as straight and destructive as they come.


4) Joshua respects Ngannou

It could simply be because of his background, his struggle, and their commonalities, but one thing is clear: Joshua has a lot time for Ngannou. He even offered to “help” him in the aftermath of the fight and encouraged him to continue boxing.


5) Ngannou’s mystique has shattered

Should Ngannou continue with boxing, no longer can he be sold the same way as before. After all, much of the talk beforehand was how he was immune to pain and so tough you couldn’t even get him to blink with a full-blooded shot.

Anthony Joshua knocks out Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)


6) No shame in dropping down

Having bravely challenged Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for huge bags of money, it would be wise for Ngannou, if he carries on, to set his sights a little lower in future. With his style, there will still be plenty of matchups involving him which would appeal to casual fans.


7) The reality check was welcome

Before the first bell, Ngannou was announced by Michael Buffer as “the most dangerous puncher in the heavyweight division”, this despite the fact he is yet to win a boxing match with his punches. We knew then the hype had to end.


8) It’s oh so quiet in Riyadh

Although it picked up a bit when the crowd saw Ngannou out cold following a Joshua right hand, the overall atmosphere of the event did nothing to elevate it or build the anticipation.


9) Joshua threw the best right hand some have ever seen

Praise for Joshua’s finishing punch was quick to arrive in the aftermath and to some extent deserved, with many calling it the best they had witnessed live. Yet the context of the punch must not be forgotten when comparing it to the right hands used to finish fights between two actual boxers.


10) It still means nothing

As good as it was to see Joshua do what Tyson Fury should have done in October, and as impressive as he was in doing it, there is still no escaping the fact that Joshua did what he did against someone for whom pro boxing, 12 months ago, was just something they watched on TV.