Anthony Joshua has been tipped to unleash “devastating” power on Oleksandr Usyk in their world heavyweight showdown, according to Britain’s David Haye.
Joshua defends his WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, in a bout that some have described as tricky given the Ukrainian’s undisputed skill.
Haye attempted to mastermind Usyk’s defeat while managing the career of Derek Chisora last year, a fight which ended with a unanimous decision against Chisora, but does not see any way the Ukrainian can withstand Joshua’s raw strength and superior size.
“I think his style might be very effective if AJ was 6’2″ and 14st,” Haye told Sky Sports.
“But AJ isn’t. AJ is 6’6” and he’s an absolute specimen, and he’s one of the best athletes ever in the heavyweight division.
“That just spells knockout defeat for Usyk.
“If Usyk was the future of the heavyweight division and he’s going to be good enough to beat AJ, he should have at least stopped Derek Chisora or won by a landslide.
“But he didn’t. He wasn’t able to keep the heavier man off him. He didn’t have the firepower.
“I just don’t see AJ having any problems.
“I’ll tell you exactly what punch it’s going to be – a jab, right hand and then a straight jab again. The jab will knock out Usyk. He will knock Usyk out with a jab.”
Usyk is attempting to win world titles at cruiserweight and then heavyweight, a rare feat which was achieved by Haye, who believes his own concussive punches compensated for a disadvantage in size.
“He may have as much skill as I have, he may have more skill than me,” said Haye. “But he just doesn’t punch hard enough to keep the big men at bay.
“You can be as fast as you want, but the speed isn’t bothering the big guy. Usyk’s power and speed didn’t bother Chisora.
“To beat the big men, the big monsters at heavyweight, you have to have a big punch to get their respect, keep them off you.
“He doesn’t have the firepower to keep the big men off him, so the big men are going to be on him when they choose to.”
Usyk has 13 knockouts in 18 victories, including a dramatic stoppage of Tony Bellew, but Haye dismissed his chances of toppling Joshua.
“No, he just doesn’t have the firepower,” said Haye.
“I can’t see any version of reality that AJ loses this fight. He looks devastating, really quick, really fast.
“He makes the same type of statement as Tyson Fury made against Deontay Wilder, where he just looks devastating.
“Once he wins that, it will set up that undisputed fight, but obviously Fury has got to then get his business taken care of with Wilder.”