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Anthony Joshua urges Francis Ngannou not to quit after knocking him out in second round

Anthony Joshua urged Francis Ngannou not to quit boxing after he defeated the 37-year-old in just his second professional fight in Riyadh.

Joshua knocked the former UFC champion out in the second round leaving him requiring oxygen in the ring.

Ngannou, who performed well in losing narrowly on points to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in what had been his only previous fight, started brightly again in Riyadh, holding his own well for much of the first round.

He was put on the canvas by Joshua with about a minute to go in the round, and when he went down again in the second there appeared to be little chance of Ngannou continuing.

"On the road to the championship, you should always stay focused," Joshua told broadcaster DAZN. "I thought this was something for the broadcasters to get behind.

"When I saw the fight with Tyson Fury, I thought I want some of that. (Ngannou) is a great champion and this doesn't take anything away from his capabilities. I told him not to leave boxing. He's two fights in and he fought the best."

For Joshua it is now four wins in a row as he put himself in prime position to meet the winner of the May 18 fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

"The Ben Davison performance centre, I appreciate them highly," he said. "All of these guys that I worked with until this day. I'm just hungry. Stay hungry and all that good stuff.

"It only takes one shot in the heavyweight division. Joseph Parker is one of my favourite fighters, he had it tough and look at him now. I'm just doing it while I'm here and making the most of it. In five years I won't be fighting.

"Eddie Hearn and my team will shape my future. I'm going back to my cage and when they let me out, I'll fight again.

"The people of Cameroon, I appreciate you. Africa united, respect. Everyone here tonight, I appreciate you. Thank you to Francis Ngannou."

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