Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou: the show goes on! GETTY IMAGES

On Friday 8 March, Saudi Arabia will host a showdown between two heavyweight champions, one from boxing and the other from the UFC. For the British boxer, it's a chance to regain his credibility. For the Cameroonian, it's a chance to show what he can do in the world of boxing.

This Friday, one of the most anticipated fights of recent months will take place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Anthony Joshua, the former heavyweight champion of the world, will face Francis Ngannou, a newcomer to boxing. He is the UFC world champion, but after giving Tyson Fury a tough time in his debut, he has become a new hope for fans of young talent. The Cameroonian is new to the game (0-1-0, 0 KO), but his fight against Fury (34-1-0, 24 KO), the WBC champion of the division, has given him a boost. Even though he lost, it was a good fight. 

He lost a controversial split decision after knocking down the Briton in the third round. What looked like a mere debut turned out to be much more, with Ngannou seen by many as an alternative to the big guns. This Friday Ngannou will face Anthony Joshua (27-3-0, 24 KO), a former holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts who was only stripped of his titles by Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KO).

Joshua and Ngannou faced off at the press conference in Saudi Arabia. GETTY IMAGES
Joshua and Ngannou faced off at the press conference in Saudi Arabia. GETTY IMAGES

That defeat caused him to step away from the ring for a season. But now he's back. Joshua has been boxing for over a decade. His career has been brilliant, with virtually all of his victories coming by way of KO. His only loss before the limit was to Andy Ruiz in 2019.

Meanwhile, Francis Ngannou was the heavyweight champion of the UFC, the world's biggest mixed martial arts company. Like McGregor, he decided to switch to boxing and continue his show. He left the UFC after defeating Ciryl Gane. Despite being new to the world, what makes him such a popular fighter with fans is his big debut against Tyson Fury last year. He lost, unfairly for many.

The full fight card: Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, heavyweight (10 rounds); Zhilei Zhang (c) vs. Joseph Parker, for the WBO interim heavyweight title; Rey Vargas (c) vs. Nick Ball, for the WBC featherweight title; Israil Madrimov vs. Magomed Kurbanov, for the WBA super welterweight title; Mark Chamberlain vs. Gavin Gwynne; lightweight.

The event was low-key, with both boxers shaking hands and no outbursts. Saudi Arabia will be the epicentre of world sport this weekend as it will also hosts the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Free practice takes place on Thursday the 7th and Friday the 8th. Qualifying takes place on Friday the 8th and the race on Saturday the 9th.