The whole boxing world will be tuning in when Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury lace it up and step into the ring for their undisputed heavyweight bout and David Haye believes the former has already been written off as the underdog. Contracts have been signed on a two-fight deal with Saudi Arabia set to host the first bout in late July.
It’s expected to be the biggest heavyweight fight in history with the winner to become the first unified champion in the four-belt era.
Fury and Joshua are in the primes of their career as well at 32 and 31 years of age respectively.
The latter heads into this summer’s contest with more recent experience having knocked out Kubrat Pulev back in December, while Fury hasn’t fought since his resounding victory over Deontay Wilder at the start of 2020.
Haye believes Fury is still riding the wave of that impressive win to clinch the WBC heavyweight belt.
And the former unified cruiserweight world champion believes that has had a knock-on effect to the public’s view on Joshua.
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“A lot of people are making Tyson Fury the favourite after his amazing performance against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas,” he told Express Sport.
“A fight I thought was one of the best heavyweight contests I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know that Tyson Fury could fight the way he did and I think he shocked Deontay Wilder.
“I rate Deontay Wilder – I still do – but he [Fury] made him look very, very ordinary.
“He made him look even more ordinary than his previous fights that weren’t that good and those guys went the distance.
“So for him to go out there and dominate shows that he’s got a lot in his locker, but I think that fight has stopped people believing in Anthony Joshua.
“Off the strength of that amazing victory, they’re written off Anthony Joshua and write him off at your peril.”
Haye goes on to suggest that Fury may well be caught out if he underestimates Joshua.
“Anthony Joshua has been working very hard behind the scenes whilst Tyson Fury has been celebrating his amazing victory. A lot of people see him [Fury] as the world No 1 as he’s just beaten the WBC champion,” Haye added.
“Fury, I don’t believe he believes he has to raise anything. I think he just thinks he’s better.
“He just thinks he turns up and he’s just going to beat up Anthony Joshua and I don’t believe that’s the case.
“I just think it’s the perfect time for Anthony Joshua. Everyone is writing him off. He’s going to be an underdog but even being the underdog I think will help him.
“It didn’t help him how everyone was saying how easy the fight with Ruiz was going to be. I think that worked against him.
“This time everybody is going to doubt him. He’s got nothing to lose. He’s going to go out there with not many people believing he’s going to win.
“He’s going to go out there and prove everybody wrong and he’s going to show the world what he’s all about.
“Experts have written him off… but he’s a very special boxer and someone who I don’t believe has shown everything that he’s got.
“I believe there’s so much more in the locker, he’s proven as a fighter and he’s got better every time I’ve seen him and I just believe it’s the perfect time for him to show what he’s really got.”
Haye also helped launch The Black Mask Company last year with sports stars such as Lewis Hamilton wearing them and the former British boxing superstar opened up on the background to his business venture.
“A buddy of mine lives in Vietnam and they did a lockdown in January last year so way ahead of pandemic,” he added.
“90 per cent of Vietnamese where washable face masks and it’s crept into their culture over the years and I worked out through my Vietnamese contacts that the government had issued the commission of a three-layer washable face mask and I though hook or by crook managed to get the worldwide distribution of this mask.
“They don’t make many of them but the ones they do make, I’m able to bring to the UK and sell. They’re super comfortable and more importantly they’re biodegradable.
“There’s 129million masks per month getting dropped into landfills and washing up in our oceans and it’s become a massive issue so this washable mask, it’s something where I’ve always been a big advocate for sustainability.”
The Black Mask Company, founded by David Haye, launches rainbow mask to thank our NHS heroes, get yours at www.theblackmaskcompany.com/products/rainbow-mask