12:49:14 AM

Knockout Chaos indeed

Well that is the end of that. Anthony Joshua ices Frances Ngannou in devastating fashion to further cement his standing as one of the most dangerous heavyweights on the planet.

Thank you for joining the Boxing News live blog, and well done to everyone who had a good night on the prediction league.

Remember to download the app and get involved next time.

12:46:04 AM

Joshua speaks…

“This is the thing with boxing,” Joshua said. “You ask if I’m coming into my peak. It only takes one shot in the heavyweight division. You should always keep searching for better. I don’t know if I’m coming into my peak, I’m just pushing day by day.

“In five years I won’t be fighting anymore, all will be said and done, this will all be a distant memory.”

When asked what he wants to do next, he replied: “I just want to fight.”

When asked if that means the winner of Tyson Fury against Oleksandr Usyk, he said: “Yes it is.”

12:40:24 AM

Official time of stoppage…

…is 2:38 of R2. That’s Joshua’s fastest win since he beat Charles Martin to win the world title (1:32 of R2).

12:38:23 AM

The Postman delivers

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Anthony Joshua v Francis N’Gannou, Heavyweight Contest
9 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Francis Ngannou knocked down in the 1st round.

12:34:20 AM


With just under a minute left in the second, after dropping Ngannou twice, Joshua puts a stop to the MMA star with a chilling right hand which sends him over and out. The referee does not even bother with a count.

What. A. Finish.

12:31:02 AM

Down goes Ngannou!

With a minute left of the first round, moments after Francis Ngannou turns southpaw, Joshua sends his opponent down heavily with a huge straight right hand.

It had been an otherwise tentative opening round, but what a breakthrough for AJ. Ngannou beats the count but does not look great.

12:22:45 AM

And here comes AJ!

In a white, ankle length Fight Label robe inspired by Elvis Presley, Anthony Joshua walks down to the ring. This is it.

12:19:33 AM


The wait is over, Francis Ngannou makes his way to the ring decked out in pink and white while Drake’s God’s Plan plays.

12:13:31 AM

The Big One

So that’s the end of the stonking, nine-fight undercard – now all that is left is to complete the Perfect 10 with Joshua-Ngannou.

As per usual, however. We are filling time here.

12:04:47 AM

Happy families

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Zhilei Zhang v Joseph Parker, Interim WBO World Heavyweight Title.
9 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.
Tyson Fury congratulates Joseph Parker on his win.

12:03:07 AM

Parker-Zhang 2 incoming

When asked what he will do next, Parker confirmed: “What’s next is I’m fighting Zhang again. That’s what is contracted so we will do it again.”

His coach Andy Lee added: “This is just the beginning. We’ve got so much more to come. We will have the rematch and go even harder next time.”

12:01:09 AM

Parker UD12

Down twice but not out, Joseph Parker is awarded a majority decision to claim one of the most significant wins of his whole career. It means he now has five wins in 14 months since he was stopped by Joe Joyce.

113-113 even
114-112, 115-11 – Joseph Parker

11:55:46 PM

We go to the scorecards

So there would be absolutely no knockout chaos in this one as Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker squeeze their way to the end of the 12th. Parker down twice in the fight but he will be aggrieved if he does not get the decision here.

11:51:46 PM

Into the last

When Parker was dropped early doors, it did not look likely that we would get to this stage but credit to the New Zealand man. He is still in this fight and could be three minutes away from another famous win just three months on from his victory over Deontay Wilder.

11:47:41 PM

10 down, two to go

Another good response from Parker, who refuses to buckle under Zhang’s power. He got caught a couple of times on his way in but he had his own pockets of success in a reasonably uneventful 10th round. Into 11 we go.

11:39:51 PM

Parker down again!

Just as it looked as though Parker might be taking control of this fight, he is dropped again. Much like the earlier knockdown, they looked like reasonably innocuous shots that did it as a straight left clips him before a right hook lands high on his head.

Again, however, he is up in time to beat the count, and again he responds well and looks in no mood to crumble.

11:31:29 PM

Halfway point

This has turned into a low-paced fight with neither man keen to give too much away. Seems incredibly quiet in the arena too but a big round from someone here should lift the spirits.

11:24:01 PM

Zhang wobbles

After that crisis moment in the third, it’s a great response from Parker in the fourth. Despite marking and blood on his face, Parker starts to throw with sharp twos and threes, and even sends Zhang stumbling at one point with a right hand. He’s not out of this fight by any means.

11:20:09 PM

Down goes Parker!

With just under a minute left in the third, Parker is dropped by a straight left hand from Zhang. The New Zealand man is not badly hurt, however, and climbs to his feet. Zhang begins to turn up the heat in search of a stoppage in the round’s closing stages but Parker manages to stay out of any more real trouble.

11:15:02 PM

More of the same

A cuffing right hook from Zhang sends Parker stumbling at one point but otherwise another quiet round. Zhang, at his size and age, happy with this pace but Parker is more inclined to throw fast combinations.

11:10:56 PM

First down

Tentative first round for both men with the southpaw and orthodox pair happy to feel each other out. Zhang unsheathed the left hand just once while Parker attempted a couple more genuine forward forays but nobody had any real success. On a knife-edge here.

11:02:30 PM

Bang time

And here comes the Big Bang himself, Zhilei Zhang, the heaviest man on the card at over 290lbs. The dulcet tones of Freddie Mercury (RIP) provide the soundtrack for his slow amble towards the ring. Here we go.

11:00:00 PM

Parker walks

Just as the break between fights was starting to become annoying, here comes Joseph Parker, bouncing and jigging his way down the ramp. He gives Turki a fist bump and then makes his way up the steps. Tyson Fury, his big mate, stands in the ring in support.

10:46:00 PM

Stars assemble

Esteemed football manager Jose Mourinho and Brazilian football icon Ronaldo photographed with fan in Riyadh.

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Knockout Chaos Fight Night
8 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Jose Mourinho, Eddie Hearn and Ronaldo at ringside.

10:42:01 PM

Big boys incoming

Now all of that is out of the way, it is now just left to the four big boys to cap off a big night of boxing.

It is Zhang-Parker now and then Joshua-Ngannou. That quartet weigh a total of 1,062lb.

10:33:52 PM

Ball gutted

Nick Ball said: “I had two knockdowns and I was puting the pressure on for the whole fight. I was the aggressor in the fight so i thought i did enough to win it. I knew I was at this level it’s just getting the opportunity to show it. I’ve shown it now haven’t I? But this is just disappointing really.”

His promoter Frank Warren pointed at Ball and said: “He won the fight. We are not cry babies but just listen to the crowd. He won that fight. How is that a split draw? Two knockdowns.

“I’m sure we will get it on again, I’m sure it will get ordered by the WBC.”

10:29:36 PM


Boos ring around the Kingdom Arena as MC Thomas Treiber announces that the judges have returned a split draw decision.

114-112 – Vargas
116-110 – Ball
113-113 – Draw

That is some swing on the cards.


10:26:58 PM

We go to the scorecards

the bell sounds to end the 12th and final round, so we must now wait to see if we have a new champion at featherweight or whether Vargas retains his title. That was a hard fight but with two knockdowns and a very strong finish, surely Ball has done enough.

10:22:20 PM

Vargas down again!

With around 30 seconds left of the 11th Vargas goes down for the second time in the fight. This time it is a right hand that puts the champion over, although he is back to his feet pretty quickly. He complains to the referee again but there looks to be nothing wrong with it, as it is a legitimate right hand from Ball that puts him over.

Ball now surely only three minutes away from the world title.

10:15:00 PM

Championship rounds coming up

More roughhousing from Ball with the rounds all following the same pattern now. It is Ball pushing the action, trying his best to close the gap and land anywhere on Vargas’ body he can. Vargas lands a right hand in the ninth but there is little on it and it does not slow Ball down in the slightest.

Backstage cameras, meanwhile, show Francis Ngannou getting his hands wrapped. It’s almost time.

10:10:40 PM

Down goes Vargas!

Right at the end of the eighth, Vargas hits the deck after Ball throws him off balance and then clips him with a left hook on his way down. Vargas’ corner are incensed it has been called a legitimate knock down, but just how pivotal could that be to the final outcome of this fight?

10:06:25 PM

Seventh heaven

A huge seventh round for Nick Ball. First, Vargas looks uncomfortable after a clash of heads, then complains to the referee about the use of an elbow. But there is no let up from Ball, who appears to have Vargas on unsteady legs with a series of looping right hands in the final 90 seconds. Just what the challenger needs.

10:01:47 PM

Heating up

Pace of the fight just starts to crank up in the sixth with Vargas calling Ball in and the Scouser obliging, with his head down while winging big hooks over the top. Ball does not seem to be making much a dent in the Mexican who will be confident of a reasonably healthy lead on the cards at the halfway mark.

9:57:05 PM

Rey of Light

This was never going to be a comfortable night’s work for Vargas but after some early moments of consternation, the champion is managing to establish his distance and land with combinations against the onrushing Ball.

9:52:35 PM

Hook, line and sinker

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Rey Vargas v Nick Ball, WBC World Featherweight Title
8 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.

9:51:10 PM

Vargas down…

But it’s no knockdown. Ball wrestles Vargas over in a clinch and is reprimanded by the referee. Just a reminder from the challenger that he’s not in Saudi to mess about. This has been a promising start from the Englishman, who is just starting to close the gap a bit.

9:45:47 PM

Two down

After an untidy first round, both men start to find more of a groove in the second. Ball looks to land with leaping left hooks from his squat stance while Vargas, circling, is happy to avoid heavy fire while he picks off the Liverpool man with long jabs and straight right hands at distance.

9:38:39 PM

Does size matter?

The height difference looks ridiculous as the fight gets underway, with Vargas towering over Ball. Remember, though, this is only Vargas’ fourth fight above super-bantam while Ball has never boxed below featherweight in his 19 previous fights.

9:32:46 PM

Ball rolling

Nick ‘Perfectly Weighted Through’ Ball is in the ring in some black sparkly shorts as defending WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas makes his way to the ring, flanked by a Filipino bloke called Manny Pacquiao.

This is a proper fight.

9:23:12 PM

Prediction leaderboard update

With three fights down on the Prediction League on the new Boxing News app… there are currently 15 people sitting pretty on a maximum 15 points after correctly predicting the first three fight winners and methods of victory.

Big up each and every one of you.

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, come and join the fun.

9:19:18 PM

Big mood

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Anthony Joshua v Francis N’Gannou, Heavyweight Contest
8 March 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Francis Ngannou arrives at the venue.

9:11:34 PM

And the new

Victory not only moves Madrimov to 10-0-1 but also means he is now the WBA light-middleweight champion of this entire planet.

Madrimov said: “This is a great feeling. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. From my debut I’ve wanted this title but this belt is mine now. This belt is coming to Uzbekistan.

“There is more to come from me. This is only my first title but I need four belts. I’ve been preparing a long time for this fight.

“It doesn’t matter who is next. Whoever else is champion, I’ll do it.”

His promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a massive win. This guy is an animal. Uzbek power, he is the new Gennady Golovkin. He walked through Kurbanov, 25-0, with ease. Nothing less than undisputed at 154lb is the plan. Remember the name Israil Madrimov. He’s coming for all the belts.”

9:07:48 PM


with 40 seconds left in the fifth, the fight is over.

Madrimov was starting to go through the gears earlier in the round and a big overhand right appeared to hurt Kurbanov as he was up against the ropes.

Then, as Madrimov unloads with a relentless barrage, referee Steve Gray decides enough was enough. All that was left was a somersault in celebration from Madrimov. Jose Mourinho would have been happy with that one.

9:04:31 PM

Kurban Warfare

Four down, and you can make a clear case that it’s 4-0 to Madrimov with Kurbanov struggling to get anything of note off at all. The crowd cheer loudest as Jose Mourinho takes his seat at ringside for the start of round five.

8:56:46 PM

Israilly solid start

Madrimov punctuates another solid round by landing a firm lead left hook. He looks comfy in there so far. Don’t understand a single word they are saying in the corner so I can’t help you there I’m afraid.

8:52:06 PM

Madrimoff the mark

Solid opening round for Madrimov, who lands with one particularly crisp right hand. But it’s not one-way traffic as Kurbanov has some success of his own. This one is warming up nicely.

8:41:08 PM

Here they come…

Now en route to the ring are Magomed Kurbanov and Israil Madrimov, who will fight for the WBA light-middleweight title. This is a contest that almost didn’t happen because of a problem with Madrimov’s pre-fight brain scan. However, on Tuesday, he was medically cleared to take part in this fight so here we go.

the undefeated ‘Dream’ from Uzbekistan emerges to Can’t Stop by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. But can he stop Kurbanov?

8:37:03 PM

Eye can’t bear it

That’s going to hurt in the morning.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – MARCH 08: Gavin Gwynne reacts to defeat with a swollen eye after the WBA International Lightweight title fight between Mark Chamberlain and Gavin Gwynne on the Knockout Chaos boxing card at the Kingdom Arena on March 08, 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

8:20:21 PM

Appy days

Next up is Israel Madrimov v Magomed Kurbanov for the WBA light-middleweight title. But while we’re waiting for that, you might as well download the brand spanking news Boxing News app if you haven’t already.

8:17:26 PM

I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me…

The story goes that Turki Al-Alshikh requested Mark Chamberlain on this card because the Portsmouth man is his favourite fighter in world boxing.

As such, Chamberlain said: “This one goes out to His Excellency, I hope I’ve made you happy with that performance.

“Listen, there’s always pressure there but i try not to let it get to me. I’m happy with what I’ve done and I want to be back here in the summer.

“I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me. No doubt his excellency has got a few names in his brain.”

8:10:06 PM

It’s all over

With fewer than 20 seconds left in the fourth, the towel comes in from Gwynne’s corner but, without even seeing it, Foster jumps in to stop the fight anyway as Chamberlain unloads with the Welshman against the ropes.

That was a career-best performance for Chamberlain, who is now 15-0 with 11 quick. Chambo against Sam Noakes, anyone?

8:03:03 PM

Eye don’t believe it

Ringside doctor is invited by Howard Foster to take a look at Gwynne’s right eye, or what is left of it. Doc says box on so they do. Chamberlain goes straight back to work and lands with one huge left hand in particular. Gwynne continues to stomp forward into the fire but Chamberlain is equally adept at picking him off while on the retreat too.

8:00:16 PM

More of the same

Gwynne lands a few more round two but still takes a peppering from Chamberlain, whose performance will surely be thrilling Turki. He’s on a streak of six stoppages in his last seven, Chamberlain, and it would be a brave man to bet against him getting another one here after these two rounds.

7:56:20 PM

Chamber made

What a start from Chamberlain. the Portsmouth southpaw cannot miss with his straight left hand, which clatters home time after time. Gwynne’s right eye is already in a right old state – there are nine rounds left of this.

7:50:50 PM

Chamberlain v Gwynne is upon us

That brings us bang up to date, which is just as well because our next two fighters are now in the ring.

Mark Chamberlain, who is *checks notes* Turki Al-Alshikh’s favourite fighter, is about to face Welshman Gavin Gwynne over 10 rounds.

7:48:11 PM

Huni Monster

And I’ve just about got enough time to tell you big Justin Huni survived a late scare against Kevin Lerena in order to win a unanimous decision after their 10 rounds at heavyweight.

7:43:47 PM

Greene Machine

But in the fourth fight of the night, underdog Louis Greene provided the fireworks when he knocked out fellow Brit Jack McGann after just 89 seconds.

The Medway Mauler, who was beaten by Sam Gilley last time out, slipped outside a McGann jab and fired a devastating right hand over the top in response. Down went McGann and although he was up in time to beat the count, referee Kieran McCann waved it off.

Greene, now 17-4 (11), dedicated the win to his postman dad John and his kids watching back home.

7:39:39 PM

Early fights

In the first fight of the night, Egis Klimas’ latest hope Andrii Novytskyi moved to 10-0 (9) by stopping Juan Torres in the third of their eight rounder to provide a healthy dose of Technical Knockout Chaos. After that, it was Unanimous Decision Chaos for both Roman Fury, brother of Tyson, and Ziyad Almaayouf, the only Saudi boxer on the card, in their fights against Martin Stark and Christian Flores respectively.

7:38:15 PM

Hello friends…

Good evening and welcome to the Boxing News live blog for the latest Saudi Arabian night: Knockout Chaos. I’m Declan Taylor and I will be blogging the living daylights out of it for the next five hours or so.

Just after 1am local Riyadh time, Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou will collide in a 10-round heavyweight contest at the Kingdom Arena and we will be there to talk you through every cough and splutter.

But before all that, we’ve got the biggest undercard in Saudi boxing history with a plethora of intriguing bouts from up and down the weight classes. They’ve been going for a few hours already, let’s have a quick look back at what has already gone down…