Teddy Atlas says Anthony Joshua exposed ‘amateur’ Francis Ngannou: ‘He’s not ready for prime time’


Teddy Atlas believes Anthony Joshua brought the conversation around Francis Ngannou back to reality.

Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, made plenty of waves with his jump into the boxing world after he was able to go the distance in a very competitive fight against WBC champion Tyson Fury back in October. So much, that even the WBC ended up ranking Ngannou in the top 10 of their rankings with the one fight.

Well, in his second professional boxing match last Friday, Ngannou was knocked out by Joshua in the second round of their contest. It was a bad loss for Ngannou, who was dropped twice before getting viciously stopped. Atlas believes the result exposed the true nature of Ngannou.

“He exposed an amateur, because he did in reality,” Atlas said on his YouTube channel. “I know the great performance against Fury, I explained that, it was great, but that was different. Now he had to react. I even think Ngannou’s confidence hurt him because he thought he could be more aggressive, and he was ready to be more aggressive. He was right in front of him. I thought that hurt him this time because he wasn’t that guy yet.

“He was still an amateur, and we forgot that because of his brilliance performance against Fury. … (Joshua) reminded us he was an amateur, he’s not ready for prime time because he did what a top guy should do. You exposed him. You exposed the things he wasn’t yet.”

So how could an “amateur” fight and almost beat the WBC heavyweight champion? Atlas gives Ngannou credit for his showing against Fury back in October, but he does think a perfect combination of factors led to Ngannou over-performing.

“Styles makes fights,” Atlas said. “Fury’s style was completely different from Joshua’s, that’s No. 1. It does influence fights. No. 2. There was something missing that was there the first time, that helped Ngannou when he fought Fury. That something is the element of surprise. That’s a big something, not a little something. Fury was ready physically, he was, I’m making no excuses. Tremendous job by Ngannou, but Fury wasn’t ready mentally.

“You couldn’t be. It’s almost not human to have really taken him seriously, where every fiber of your body and mind would be ready for what was coming. It was his first pro fight, and you’re the champion of the world.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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