I recently watched Joshua Ngannou for the first time, having missed the original telecast. Typically, I’m not particularly enthusiastic about these matchups, but I decided to give it a go to see what the hype was all about. Now, I’m seeing posts on Facebook pondering what’s next for Francis Ngannou. My response to that is: nothing.

Firstly, he’s 37 years old, and secondly, he lacks strategic thinking in the ring. His downfall, in my opinion, was due to a lack of fundamental skills. In the first round, Joshua set up the counter right hand off the feint. Ngannou, however, consistently threw a lazy jab in response to Joshua’s feint, leaving himself vulnerable to the counter.

When Ngannou switched to southpaw, commentators suggested it was out of cockiness, but it seemed more like confusion or discomfort. Joshua’s circling, feinting, and jabbing failed to create the opportunities Ngannou anticipated, so he tried to force something by switching stances, resulting in him getting hit with a right hand that floored him.

In the second round, Joshua resumed landing the counter right hand off the feints. This is where Ngannou’s lack of strategic thinking became evident. A basic rule in amateur boxing is to disrupt your opponent’s rhythm if your jab is being countered. This can involve throwing two jabs or a hook to deter your opponent from timing their counter. However, Ngannou persisted with his lazy jab, providing Joshua with timing opportunities. Later in the second round, Joshua capitalized on this, landing a hard counter over Ngannou’s lazy jab, knocking him down.

Ngannou may have earned $20 million, but perhaps it’s time for him to leave the sport alone. Boxing requires strategic thinking, and in this aspect, Ngannou falls short. Joshua was actively seeking counters, but Ngannou couldn’t see them coming nor was he clever enough to anticipate Joshua’s moves.

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