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Hearn interested in Ngannou, wants Joshua fight

James Chance / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Matchroom Boxing chairman Eddie Hearn wants to do business with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Hearn said Wednesday on "The MMA Hour" that he recently spoke with Ngannou and hopes to work with him for a boxing match against Anthony Joshua.

"We would love to be involved in (Ngannou's) career," Hearn said. "The Anthony Joshua fight is just probably one of the biggest fights that could be made across any kind of sport. Obviously, the Tyson Fury fight is there for him as well."

In unprecedented fashion, Ngannou left the UFC as a free agent and the reigning heavyweight titleholder in January following a year of failed negotiations.

Ngannou has expressed interest in crossing over to boxing to face either Fury or Joshua.

Though MMA fighters "have a mountain to climb" in boxing, Hearn said Ngannou's debut should be against a top opponent so he can maximize his earnings immediately.

"If I'm representing Francis Ngannou, I want to make sure that this next move, I maximize every dollar that's out there," Hearn said. "He's done the hard work. He's done the years of hustle. He's done the work to get himself in a position that he can move forward with what he wants to do (and) take control of his career."

He added: "I would like to see him go straight into a big fight, where he can make an absolute fortune, and then if he were to lose, to come back and actually have some fights in boxing."

Hearn said he sees value in a potential Joshua-Ngannou bout because of the "unknown."

"What happens when two titans from the world of fight sports collide?" Hearn asked. "The UFC heavyweight world champion, Francis Ngannou, and a two-time world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua. The complete unknown, 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 steamroll him, and you'll see Francis Ngannou get knocked out?

"That's the attraction of that fight: The unknown."

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