Francis Ngannou almost shocked the world against Tyson Fury, but he’s still an underdog heading into his second professional boxing match.
Opening odds for Ngannou’s just-announced fight with ex-champ Anthony Joshua have been released, and the former UFC titleholder remains in the underdog category, albeit not as deeply as for his fight this past October with Fury.
SportsBetting.ag has set the opening odds for Ngannou vs. Joshua, which reportedly takes place March 9 in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.
Anthony Joshua: -500
Francis Ngannou: +325
The odds imply Joshua has an 83 percent chance of winning the bout. A $100 bet on the ex-champ would return $20. Ngannou, meanwhile, has a 25 percent chance of winning, and a $100 bet would return $325.
The sportsbook gives Ngannou a much better chance of winning than his fight with Fury, which he lost via split decision despite knocking down Fury in a highly competitive fight. Fury opened at -1400 to Ngannou’s +750, putting an Ngannou win in the territory of massive upset.
Joshua was expected to face power-punching ex-champ Deontay Wilder after defeating Otto Wallin at Day of Reckoning this past month, but Wilder lost to Joseph Parker in a big upset. Joshua’s promoters clearly pivoted to Ngannou for the March 9 date, the originally planned host for Joshua vs. Wilder.
A press conference formally announcing Joshua vs. Ngannou will take place Jan. 15 in London.