David Haye has seen great improvements that Anthony Joshua has made from his recent fights against Andy Ruiz Jr to believe that he’s quite capable of defeating Tyson Fury to prove himself as the #1 heavyweight in the division.
Haye saw the changes that Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) displayed in his rematch with former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) and he now views AJ in a different light from the fighter that lost to Andy Jr in their first match in June 2019.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Joshua will be fighting twice in 2021, as long as AJ wins his match against Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on December 12th in London, England.
Its believed to be a foregone conclusion that Joshua, 31, will defeat the 39-year-old Pulev, who has done little to earn the title shot. Pulev is the last hurdle in front of Joshua before he faces Fury in the first of two clashes next year.
Joshua has the tools to beat Fury
“I don’t like dictating that someone is #1 when there’s no conclusive evidence that they’re #1,” said Haye about the argument of who is the best heavyweight in the division between Joshua and Fury.
“I can understand why someone would rank him [Fury] higher, but that doesn’t mean #1 beats #2. I need to see them fight each other because I’ve seen things from Anthony Joshua that I haven’t seen from a lot of people.
“The things that are required to beat Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua has. Can he put it together on a fight? That’s the question. I don’t know. I’d like to think he can, but I haven’t seen it yet,” said Haye.
Joshua, 6’6, 240+ lbs, certainly have the physique to defeat the 6’9″, 270+ lb Fury, but we’ll have to see how he adjusts to his crafty style of fighting.
One thing is for sure; Fury won’t be able to use his size to rough Joshua up in the same way he did against the 230-lb Deontay Wilder last February.
If Fury tried that approach in an attempt to win the fight, Joshua will light him up and take him out.
It’s likely that Fury will fall back into his old spoiling method of fighting that he’s used through most of his career for him to try and beat Joshua.
It could be ugly, but that’s about all Fury can do because he won’t be able to bum rush Joshua as he did against Wilder without getting his head knocked off.
AJ has made massive improvements
“I’ve seen it in Saudi Arabia when he [Joshua] had a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr,” Haye said of the improvements Joshua made for his rematch with Andy last December.
“He showed me something he’d never done, he showed me movement, and he showed me relaxed shoulders and all the things that I hadn’t seen before, he showed me there.
“He stuck to the game plan to the letter. It was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ This was someone not just trying to use his size, strength, and punching power.
“Not only using skills but using his feet. I was like, ‘Okay, this is someone different.’
“The fact that he was able to improve from Andy 1 to Andy 2 that jump up in quality, I think he can keep going because he’s going to need to for him to beat Tyson Fury.
“But he showed me that he can learn and adapt and get better in a short period of time. So if he can do that, then he can do it [beat Fury].
“It’s just such an intriguing fight for everybody to say, ‘Bam, #1.’ It’s not, ‘I think I’m #1,'” said Haye.
The Wladimir Klitschko style of fighting that Joshua used in his rematch with Ruiz Jr last December was highly effective, and it was one that would likely work with equal effectiveness against Fury.