Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis is unsure the new look David Haye can have the same impact as the younger, quicker model that went on to claim the WBA title back in 2009.
Haye, 35, fights for the second time on Saturday since announcing his comeback in 2015 and has noticeably put on extra muscle, seemingly in a bid to compete with the massive competitors of today.
Since the ‘Haymaker’ last ruled almost five years ago, the top division is dominated by the biggest and tallest fighters around and the Londoner, who is predominately a cruiserweight, has felt the need to bulk-up.
Lewis has questioned whether this may compromise the one thing Haye has always had to his advantage – his explosive speed – but refused to criticise the two-weight world champion for his decision.
“I don’t think he needs the strength,” Lewis told Press Association Sport.
“He should depend on his speed because he’s very good – his speed with his legs, good speed with his hands – and I think he should focus more on that, but this is what he feels he needs, he went out and got himself into great shape, got himself strong.
“He has his reasons for doing that. He’s been up against some big guys and he realises there’s a strength difference, so he wants to really catch up to the rest of the world on his sense of strength.
“Some people say ‘that’s not the right thing to do, he should focus on his speed, that’s what brought him there and that’s what can bring him home’. (But) he’s made that choice, and we can’t fault him.”
Lewis added: “He’s had a long time to think about what he wants to do with his body, and what he wants to do with his boxing.
“He wants to reinvent himself and put on some more weight. I understand that.”
Haye is an overwhelming favourite to overcome the undefeated Montenegrin this weekend and move on to a possible clash with outspoken American Shannon Briggs before ultimately turning his attention to a world title bid in 2017.