David Haye has admitted his body has never been at full pelt throughout his career as the former two-weight world champion continues preparations for his rematch with Tony Bellew.
Speaking in his camp column in UK tabloid The Daily Mirror, the 37 year-old also revealed he underestimated the Liverpool man, but won’t be making the same mistake again.
Now completely free of any injuries that could hamper performance following surgeries on his Achilles and bicep, Haye believes a change of psyche is needed for the May 5 return.
“I’ve never gone into any fight 100 percent injury free and any fighter who says he has is either lying, super-human or incredibly lucky,” Haye told The Mirror.
“But I walked to the ring to face Tony Bellew last March believing I was going to win the fight; it just didn’t work out that way.
“I said it would be an easy night for me but although it wasn’t, we gave the fans a great night of entertainment.
“After the fight, I knew I’d boxed poorly. I had my ruptured Achilles operated on the following day and I was back doing some light training after a few days and looking forward to the rematch.
“It’s been well documented that I’ve had a few injuries over the year but I’m not one to sit and lick my wounds, I just cracked on with the recovery.
“You have to play the cards you’ve been dealt and I’ve been dealt some great cards in my career so I can’t complain when I get a bad hand.”
On taking Bellew too lightly in the initial meeting, Haye added: “You have to go into a bout with the correct mindset.
“In my mind, I was just going to go in there and knock Tony out. It sounds simple and primitive but that’s what it was, I had no fear of his power.
“Normally when I go into a fight I make sure I don’t get hit but I thought it didn’t matter for this one.
“I thought that even if he hit me, it would make no difference; I thought there was no way I could lose.
“He hit me on the button with some of his best shots but I didn’t feel them. I could go into this fight with the same mentality but I’m not going to.
“Once you step in the ring with a fighter you naturally realise a level of respect for that person, regardless of whether you like them or not.
“On May 5, I’m going to go into it believing he can hurt me; having that awareness wakes you up, makes you sharper and heightens your senses,” said Haye.
Read David Haye’s full column in The Daily Mirror here