David Haye believes Anthony Joshua will come out on top when the Briton faces his old rival Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 at Wembley Stadium.
Joshua and Klitschko go head-to-head for the unified heavyweight crown in front of 90,000 fans in a fight Haye will be keeping a close eye on following his own bout with Tony Bellew this weekend.
Haye, 36, knows first hand the tactics employed by Klitschko to win fights during his career and the former cruiserweight king is predicting a finish to the Joshua encounter that may be somewhat unsatisfactory to the huge crowd.
“I don’t think it will go the distance,” Haye exclusively told World Boxing News.
“It will be a fencing match for the first few rounds and Klitschko will do his usual thing of not engaging. I think he’ll use the jab at range and try to spoil it by grabbing and holding.
“I hope Joshua will let his hands go and pressure the action even when Klitschko continues to clinch and grab. Hopefully, they have a strong referee who will deduct points because the last thing we want to see is Klitschko getting disqualified for holding.
“But I see Joshua as too young and too fresh if he lets his hands go up close, as Klitschko doesn’t want to do that. Klitschko will just want to clinch every time.
“If Joshua punches at him, in which case he should – and the referee is neutral and fair, he could disqualify Klitschko, so I think Joshua within the distance.”
In a previous article on WBN, Haye outlined his intention to face whoever comes out on top by saying, “After Bellew, the winner of Joshua v Klitschko is definitely my main focus.
“Now that Tyson Fury is in his little slump, that’s the next fight we will consider. The winner of that would be considered the premier heavyweight on the planet. So a win obviously puts me in a good position to meet the winner of those two, which is what I’m aiming for.
“That would be as big as it gets,” he added.
Watch David Haye vs Tony Bellew exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office – March 4 from The 02 Arena in London
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay