David Haye: I’ll fight Anthony Joshua next if the public wants it

By Boxing News - 01/18/2016 - Comments

haye#1By Scott Gilfoid: David Haye’s easy 1st round knockout win over a punching bag-like Mark De Mori (30-2-2, 26 KOs) last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK, seems to have planted ideas into his head, because Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) is now bragging about how he sees himself as the hardest puncher and the fastest heavyweight on earth right now.

Haye also says he would be willing to step inside the ring in his next fight against British/Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) if the British boxing public wants it. Obviously, they would fancy that fight, but that does not mean it will happen.

It’s quite likely that even if Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport offered a fight against Haye for April 9, which is when Joshua plans on fighting again, Haye would turn it down. I don’t think Haye would accept a fight against Joshua within the next three months, and I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t take the fight.

It’s too soon for Haye to be taking on a younger fighter with the kind of size and momentum that the 6’6”, 245lb Joshua has going for him right now. I mean, Joshua has a gold medal from the 2012 Olympics, and he’s quickly won his first 15 fights since turning pro. Granted, Joshua hasn’t fought anyone good except for the injured Dillian Whyte, but he at least has been busy in the last years. That’s a heck of a lot more than I can say for Haye, who has been sitting on his sofa since his win over Dereck Chisora in 2012.

It’s nice that Haye came back at beat De Mori in one round last Saturday night at the O2, but that was just a really poor opponent that proved nothing. De Mori is a fighter that former journeyman John Wyborn knocked out in one round in the past. We didn’t see Wyborn crowing after the fight that he’s the hardest hitter and the fastest heavyweight in the division, did we?

“I think Eddie [Hearn] said he’s going to focus on a world title, which is fair enough, but public demand normally dictates the big fights,” Haye said to skysports.com. “If he wanted to fight next, I’ll fight him next. I can get back in the ring whenever – I’m in good shape. I’ll probably take a week or 10 days off and then start training again.”

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It is pretty much a given that Haye will be fighting someone along the same lines as De Mori in his next fight. I see Haye continuing to fight weak opposition for the remainder of 2016. I do not see Haye fighting Joshua this year. Haye’s quick win over De Mori making him want to get a cash out fight against Joshua right away. I think the lightning fast victory over De Mori has altered Haye’s plans for his comeback.

Instead of him looking to get a quick payday against Joshua and perhaps bowing out of the sport for another three to four years, I see Haye continuing to rack up easy wins over fodder until he gets a title shot against one of the champions he feels confident of beating. Haye mentioned being interested in fighting champions Deontay Wilder, Ruslan Chagaev and Charles Martin.

I think that’s the path that Haye will choose to take. He will pad his record against fodder until he is ranked at No.1 by one of the sanctioning bodies and try to force a fight against one of the champions. I just hope for Haye’s sake that he does not elect to face the 6’7” Deontay, because that is not a good match-up for Haye due to the combination of punching power, youth and size that Deontay possesses.

“I believe I’m the fastest heavyweight on the planet and the hardest hitting,” Haye said. “As soon as I start landing, people get knocked out. In an ideal world, the fans get a few more rounds but you can’t complain. Mike Tyson made a career of knocking people out in the first round.”

There’s a huge difference between Haye fighting a weak heavyweight like De Mori and someone that is actually talented with a chin and punching power in the heavyweight division. I’d like to have seen how Haye would have done if he had an opponent that would hit him back like Dillian Whyte. I believe it would have had a much different outcome last Saturday night if Haye was fighting a healthy 6’4” Whyte rather than an aging fringe contender in De Mori.

“I’m not too fussed about calling anyone out but people are coming up to me in the street and asking me when I’m going to fight Joshua,” Haye said.

Why doesn’t Haye try and prove himself first against the guy that Joshua just beat in Whyte before talking about fighting Joshua? I am just saying. If Haye can beat Whyte the same way he did De Mori, then it would help setup a big money fight against Joshua for later in 2016. But if all Haye is going to do is go and and find De Mori 2.0 in finding another weak fodder opponent to bowl over in one round, then I don’t see that as doing anything to prove to the fans that he has a chance to beat Joshua. Right now, I think Joshua would easily beat Haye in the same way that Wladimir Klitschko did in 2011.

Haye is too short and too timid when he fights bigger heavyweights, and it would be a one-sided affair if he were to step up and fight Joshua right now. But if Haye could prove himself first by showing htat he can beat a big heavyweight like Whyte, then it would be a great chance to make a fight against Joshua even bigger in the UK. I think Whyte would take a fight against Haye in a second if it were offered to him, because he knows it would be a fight that would help build his career and give him a nice payday in the process.

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