David Haye says Joshua-Klitschko is on, says the match-up reminds him of Ali’s ill-fated fight with Berbick

Though British promoter Eddie Hearn is at pains to insist how the huge Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko (or should that be the other war around, with “Dr. Steel Hammer’s” name being given top billing?) fight is “close” but not yet done, former champ David Haye has Tweeted a congratulatory message to the reigning IBF heavyweight belt-holder over having got the fight.

“Great to hear Joshua-Klitschko is done. Timing is everything & the time now is perfect for AJ. Reminds me of Ali-Berbick. #Father Time,” Haye wrote today.

So, does Haye know something we do not, and is the fight a done deal and on for a date to be confirmed soon? Or Has Haye simply jumped the gun? Time will tell, but Hearn has already dismissed Haye’s Tweet.

But is Joshua-Klitschko/Klitschko-Joshua really a fight/match-up comparable to Muhammad Ali’s final fight, the quite depressing affair in The Bahamas that saw “The Greatest” look so poor against Trevor Berbick? Sure, Klitschko, at age 40, is around the same age as Ali was in the December 1981 bout (lost, as surely all fight fans know, by Ali via 10-round UD) and yes, Klitschko is coming off a loss, as Ali was upon entering what turned out to be his final ring appearance. But there the similarities end.

Ali was not just old and battling Father Time when he went in against Berbick, he was a sick man who had absolutely no business being in the ring unless it was to be introduced to fans as a ringside guest of honour who was in attendance to witness two other fighters go to war. And though Klitschko lost to Tyson Fury almost a year ago, he was nowhere near as faded a force as Ali was in his fight prior to meeting Berbick – the awful Larry Holmes fight/beating.

Maybe the timing is right for Joshua, and maybe, if he does fight Klitshko next, he will benefit from his youth, his enthusiasm and his sharpness. But no way will he be meeting a standing target, or a sitting duck of a brutally faded former fighter the kind Ali was in his fight against Berbick.

You can’t blame Haye for rooting for Joshua, as he very much wants to fight him. Klitschko, though, is the pick to beat AJ in the opinion of many. Timing is indeed everything in boxing, and the majority of experts say this fight has come too soon for a fighter yet to go beyond the 7th-round.