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Ben Davison was a very interested observer to Francis Ngannou’s professional boxing debut against Tyson Fury last October.

The Briton was key to Fury’s return to the ring following his self-imposed three year hiatus from the sport following his title win against Wladimir Klitschko in late 2015, helping the ‘Gypsy King’ return to fighting shape and guiding his career up until Fury’s second fight with Deontay Wilder.

Davison, whose efforts with Fury saw him nominated for 2018’s best boxing trainer, has more recently aligned himself with Anthony Joshua, with their first collaboration coming in December’s conclusive triumph over Otto Wallin — a fighter who had previously given Fury some trouble in a 12-round decision in September 2019.

And after witnessing Francis Ngannou’s performance in his razor-thin split decision loss to Fury, Davison says that his newest student will have his hands full when the two world champions meet in the ring in Riyadh next Friday.

“It’s easy now after the fight for everybody to say: ‘Oh Tyson didn’t perform’ and all the rest of it. But you have to give credit. That man’s a dangerous man,” Davison said of Ngannou to Sky Sports.

“People can say what they want. But Francis Ngannou had a very, very competitive fight with Tyson, who a lot of people consider to be No. 1 so it’s certainly a fight that’s going to live up to the billing.

“I’ve worked with Tyson, I know that he’s a true professional,” Davison added. “He never takes anything lightly in terms of preparation but sometimes I’ve also worked with fighters that it’s been hard, you try to do everything you can physically, but mentally it’s hard to give the opponent that same respect that you probably should, even though you’re trying your best to. But Ngannou did shock me.

“You have to look at opponents, what works, what doesn’t work, strengths, weaknesses and how you can apply those around a certain type of opponent and his style. So we’ve been doing and will be doing our homework.”