Matchroom Boxing leader, Eddie Hearn has revealed he has spoken with former undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou amid the Cameroonian’s departure from the organization, following speculation that the Batie striker is set to make a transition to professional boxing in his next combat sports walk.

Ngannou, a former undisputed heavyweight champion under the banner of the Dana White-led UFC, saw his contractual obligations with the promotion come to an end officially on December 9. – before he subsequently departed the organization officially earlier this month.

As a result, Ngannou was officially stripped of the undisputed heavyweight crown, with former light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones set to return at UFC 285 on March 4. in a vacant title fight against former interim heavyweight titleholder, Ciryl Gane.

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Linked initially with a potential fight against WBC heavyweight champion and Queensberry Promotion’s mainstay, Tyson Fury, Ngannou has welcomed a potential fight – particularly a hybrid-rules pairing.

Eddie Hearn weighs up potential Francis Ngannou, Anthony Joshua showdown

However, according to Hearn – who revealed he had held initial talks with Ngannou, he believes the former UFC kingpin should tackle former world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua in his professional boxing debut.

“We’ll see what happens,” Eddie Hearn told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “For me, we would love to be involved with his (Francis Ngannou) career. The Anthony Joshua fight is probably among the biggest fights that can be made in any sport. Obviously, the Tyson Fury fight is there for him as well.”

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“I was pretty captivated by him,” Hearn explained. “I’m not a massive MMA fan, but I still respect what he’s achieved there. But I just found him to be an outstanding gentleman. We’ll see how it goes.” 

Hearn further claimed that should Ngannou fight Joshua – and land a stunning knockout victory over the former two-time heavyweight champion, it would likely go down as the biggest upset in the history of the sport.

“The UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua; the complete unknown,” Hearn said. “The unknown of how good is Francis Ngannou? We know he punches extremely hard, if he lands one on Anthony Joshua, is it the greatest upset of all time? Or will AJ completely streamroll him and you’ll see Francis Ngannou get knocked out? That’s the attraction of that fight – the unknown.” 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.