Former world heavyweight champion David Haye is relishing the prospect of seeing Anthony Joshua come face to face with Tyson Fury after their lucrative showdown was confirmed for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.
Haye, who retired after his second loss to Tony Bellew in 2018 and now manages contender Derek Chisora, believes a handful of crucial factors will determine who gets the better of their eagerly awaited meeting.
Here, Haye talks tactics with the PA news agency – revealing who he thinks will come out on top – and how.
“What Fury did against Deontay Wilder in his last fight sounded like suicide on paper, but it was genius. Tactically I believed he had got it totally wrong, but it was proven right. But if you look at some of his prior fights, I wouldn’t say his tactics were that good. Joshua got his tactics terribly wrong in his first fight against Andy Ruiz, trying to mix it against a guy with short arms whose only chance was to get inside. But his tactics are improving and I very much liked what he did against Kubrat Pulev in his last fight.”
“I think some people very much underestimate the boxing ability of Anthony Joshua. They forget he’s an Olympic gold medallist – Tyson didn’t even go to an Olympics, because he lost to David Price (in 2006). AJ started later but I can see his progression. I laugh at how people can doubt someone as genetically gifted as AJ. They see what happened to Wilder and they think the same thing will happen to Joshua, but they are two completely different fighters and human beings.”
“Joshua waded in in his first fight against Andy Ruiz Jr and learned a hard lesson. You’ve got to soften your man up and pick your punches – just because you have the ability to knock someone out doesn’t give you the divine right to do so. Tyson isn’t so much of a one-punch specialist. He puts his punches together and his style is that if you throw big looping shots at him he’ll make you look silly. But AJ throws hard, compact punches and he puts them together well. I don’t see this fight going smoothly for Fury at all.”
“I like the dedication of Joshua and I think he has a good chance of winning it early. People think I’m crazy but that’s just the way I see it. I loved his fight against Wladimir Klitschko – he took his licks and got back up and showed the heart of a champion. I think it’s a great fight and I really see it being won by stoppage. I’m just so glad we’re so close to seeing it happen.”
:: Haye’s The Black Mask Company has launched a new rainbow face mask with 25 per cent of the retail price being donated to NHS Charities Together. It is available via https://www.theblackmaskcompany.com/products/rainbow-mask%5d