EDDIE HEARN has been forced to defend Anthony Joshua’s fight with Francis Ngannou after previous comments came back to haunt him.
In the lead up to the crossover clash, Hearn blasted it as a “mismatch”.
But, after Ngannou floored Fury and was controversially beaten on points, the promoter admitted he thought the ex-UFC star was “robbed.”
Hearn spoke out to address the backlash he has received since the announcement that Joshua, 34, will fight Ngannou, 37, next.
He said on The MMA Hour: “Everyone’s going to play my previous clips [of me saying] that Francis Ngannou couldn’t win an English title before he fought Tyson Fury.
“I feel like he’s earned that shot — or certainly to continue at that level. And I fancy the fight.
“You’ve heard me say before, I really believe AJ knocks him out. But he’s a dangerous fight.
“I know that this guy’s a big, big lump that can really punch, and I think he has no fear, which makes him dangerous.
“But I just feel like AJ’s in a great place, and I expect him to pick him apart and knock him out.”
Joshua was due to fight Deontay Wilder, 38, in a £100milllion deal in March until the American was beaten by Joseph Parker, 31.
So AJ was forced to look elsewhere and Ngannou emerged as the most lucrative option – and this time he will not be underestimated.
Hearn said: “They’re taking this very seriously. In their mind, this is the toughest fight of their career.
“Francis Ngannou is a very dangerous man, and they’ll be training, absolutely, with every ounce in their soul to be victorious.”