Haye comments on Joshua-Povetkin results
By Tim Royner: David Haye came away with new appreciation of Anthony Joshua’s talent in taking some big licks in the early rounds against former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin to come back to stop him in round 7 last Saturday night in front of 90,000 fans at Wembey Stadium in London, UK.
Haye says he liked the composure that Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) showed after suffering a broken nose in round 1. Joshua didn’t go to pieces mentally like some fighters would after suffering a bad injury early in their fights.
Joshua won the fight, but he didn’t look as good as he should have against an older, smaller fighter pushing 40-years-old in Povetkin. The performance from Joshua didn’t measure up to the job Wladimir Klitschko did on Povetkin in 2013. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s learning with each fight and improving, but it didn’t look like that against Povetkin.
“Alexander Povetkin is very experienced. I’ve known him since we were amateurs,” Haye said to Fighthype. “I was worried in there in the early rounds. I had AJ up by one or two rounds at the time [of the stoppage], so I had him winning, but a couple of rounds were quite close. When Povetkin put his punches together, he’d land here or four clean shots in a row where AJ was landing one and missing a couple of others. I saw he was sort of relaxed. Once he started landing to the body and relaxing, I thought, ‘He’s got it now.’”
It’s nice that Haye doesn’t hold any grudge against Joshua for his failure to fight him during his career. Haye tried to get a fight against Joshua for several years, but was ignored while he fought the likes of Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale. I wonder what Haye really thinks about Joshua’s performance against Povetkin. It’s hard to see Haye not seeing a boatload of flaws in Joshua’s performance because he looks so beatable against Povetkin. What happens if Joshua doesn’t land those two big shots in round 7? Does he win the fight or does he run out of gas and end up getting stopped by the 39-year-old Povetkin at some point in the later rounds?
“It’s easy to look explosive when you’ve got someone standing against the ropes and the guy let’s you be explosive,” Joshua said. “If Joshua had gone out there like he did 10 fights ago just punching, he would have been knocked out. He had to fight the way he fought tonight to get the victory. He had to be calm to see what the guy had. He had to take some licks tonight, but he’s got a good chin. He showed that against Klitschko in getting drilled with a shot, and getting back up, weathered the storm and came back. You saw that against Carlos Takam when they had the clash of heads that broke his nose. So he’s had his nose broken bad before. When he had his nose busted in the 1st round, he didn’t seem fazed. He was fine. He’d been there before. He was calm and ready to take the shots,” Haye said.
Contrary to what Haye says about Joshua being up in the fight by two rounds in his mind, he was seen as losing the fight in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. Joshua was struggling going into the 7th round and he appeared to be down by two rounds.
Haye brings up a good point in talking about the improvement Joshua has made in his last few fights. When Joshua first started his career, he would rush his opponents and look to overpower them with a flurry of shots. It worked well for Joshua back then because he was facing poor opposition. Wladimir Klitschko stopped Joshua from fighting like that after he knocked him down and almost stopped him last year. Joshua has been a different fighter since then.
”I’d like to see him and Deontay Wilder,” Haye said. ”Him and Deontay Wilder are the two best heavyweights on the planet right now, followed closely by Tyson Fury. But hopefully the [Joshua vs. Wilder] fight happens. Hopefully, the winner of that [Wilder-Fury] comes over here to Wembley and they get it on.”