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Haye reacts to Joshua’s win over Breazeale

Anthony Joshua David Haye

By Scott Gilfoid: David Haye watched last Saturday’s fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-1, 15 KOs) and challenger Dominic Breazeale while working as a commentator for Sky Sports, and he came away from the experience not impressed. Haye, 35, says he saw each and every punch from Joshua, and he could see them coming if he fought him.

Haye thinks he could get out of the way of the 6’6”, 243lb Joshua’s shots each time and limit greatly amount of punches he lands against him. Haye wants to fight Joshua as soon as the 26-year-old is ready to face him.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t seem to be in nearly the same rush as Haye is to make the fight happen, as he wants to let the match marinate more before giving Joshua the green light. Thus far, Haye has fought twice in his comeback after being out of the ring for three and a half years with injuries and what not.

Since returning to the ring earlier this year in January, has beaten fringe contenders Mark De Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj by fast knockouts. De Mori lasted just one round against Haye, and Gjergjaj two rounds. Haye is currently ranked #3 IBF, #5 WBA, #5 WBO, #6 WBC. The ranking with the International Boxing Federation is the important one for Haye, because once he becomes Joshua’s mandatory challenger, then he can actually force the fight to take place no matter how much Hearn wants to delay it.

“I watch him, his punch variety and the way he reacts to things coming at him. The more I’ve watched him, the more confident I’ve got,” said Haye to “I don’t believe it’s anywhere near enough to beat me in any way, shape or form. I don’t believe he’s anywhere near as fast as I am. I could see every shot coming. I do a thing when I’m watching someone and I think if he’s going to jab. I’m looking at him and slipping the shots for the opponent, but the opponent takes them clean in the face.”

Haye will be facing 44-year-old Shannon Briggs next in a fight that is supposed to take place in September. It’s unclear why the fight hasn’t been negotiated and scheduled. Haye should have done that by now so that he can start training. I actually think Briggs has a decent chance of winning the fight if he can land some of his big power shots.

It helps that Briggs is now a body puncher at this point in his career because I don’t think he would be able to connect with enough head shots to beat Haye due to his defensive style of fighting. Briggs will need to throw a lot of spearing jabs to the body of Haye if he’s to have a chance of winning. Haye will surely be using movement to keep from getting hit.

Briggs can time Haye and connect with a big body shot when he darts forward. I’m not sure how long Haye can move around the ring at his age, because he looked gassed after just one round in his last fight against Gjergjai. It’s possible that Briggs could drown Haye if he takes him into the deeper rounds of the fight where his stamina could be an issue.

Joshua obviously isn’t as fast as Haye or as some of the other heavyweights in the division like WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder. The thing with Haye, 6’3”, is his lack of size. He only weighs 224lbs, and would be giving away 20 pounds of weight and three inches in height if he were to face Joshua right now. With Haye thinking of fighting cruiserweight Tony Bellew, there’s a possibility that Haye may need to drop weight to fight him at a catch-weight around 215lbs or less. That’s not going to be good for Haye to be dropping weight if he wants to fight a guy as big as Joshua. Let’s be real about this; Joshua is not a fast heavyweight, and he badly telegraphs everything he throws. There’s nothing unpredictable about Joshua. However, he still might be able to beat Haye based on size alone. I have no doubts that Haye would easily beat Joshua if they were the same size, but the fact of the matter is they’re not the same size.

Haye fought in a timid manner in the past when he fought giant heavyweights Nikolay Valuev and Wladimir Klitschko. He attempted few punches against both guys, and he fought like he was trying to avoid getting knocked out. If one were to predict the future based on how Haye fought in the past when fighting large heavyweights, then it would seem likely that he’ll just run around the ring play it safe against Joshua rather than trying to win the fight.

If Haye fights just to survive and loses, there’s going to be a lot of angry British fans that will be unhappy that they wasted their money on watching the fight on pay-per-view. I mean, you’d like to think that Haye would be willing to fight hard and go out on his shield if need be to try and win the fight, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I think he’ll fight two or three more weaker opponents to get the Joshua fight, and then badly lose by not going enough to win. I do not see Haye taking on a talented heavyweight contender to earn the title shot against Joshua.

“I don’t see any issues whatsoever so I’m patiently waiting until he believes he’s ready because when he is, I’m ready to go. I’m not going to tell you how I’ll do it, but it will be done,” said Haye about Joshua.

Well, I can’t see Joshua and Hearn making Haye wait beyond 2017 unless they have some serious concerns about how dangerous he is. If Haye still hasn’t been given a title shot against Joshua by next year, then you have to assume that Hearn has some serious doubts whether Joshua would be up to the task.

When you look at the match-making that’s been done for Joshua by Hearn since he’s turned pro in 2013, he’s always been the heavy favorite in his fights. But in a match against Haye, he would still be the favorite, but he wouldn’t be nearly the favorite that he’s been in the past. This means there would be a chance Joshua could lose the fight, and I don’t think Hearn is interested in taking the chance of that happening.

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