Evander Holyfield says David Haye must get inside and stay there to beat Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on Saturday night.
Former heavyweight king Hoyfield confounded the odds makers to beat the likes of Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe in the 1990s.
And Haye himself will try to pull off an upset when he locks horns with Klitschko in an eagerly-awaited unification match.
When he took the title from the giant Nikolay Valuev in Germany back in 2009, Haye did so by boxing mainly from the outside, using his speed to dart in and score.
But Holyfield says that gameplan won't be enough to dethrone Wladimir on Saturday night.
He told The Daily Mail: "A lot of it is in the mind. David is smart and confident but the belief has to be deep down inside to survive the pressure. The art of the game is to fight to your strength and size and David has his advantages.
'We all know he's quick but he has to make his hand speed dictate the fight. It won't be enough to dart in and out for one pot shot here and there, the way he did against Valuev. But David won't have the problem I had against Riddick and Lennox because Wladimir can't box on the inside.
"Once he slips and slides inside that long jab he has to stay there a while and let go with body shots and combinations. If Wladimir grabs and holds every time a lot will depend on the referee but whatever happens he can't one-hit-and-run all night."
Both Haye and Klitschko have both been stopped in their careers, but despite that Holyfield isn't expecting a sensational one-punch finish from either man.
"There's a lot of talk about both of them being chinny but neither of 'em is going to knock out the other with one big shot. That's not how it goes. They might go down but in a fight this big they will both have the will to get back up. That's what it takes to be a champion when you get hit on the chin.
Holyfield says Klitshcko's size advantage, and his gameplan, mean that Haye will have to take some punches in order to land some. But the man they call 'The Real Deal' believes he can do it.
"Wladimir will want to keep it at long range and wear his man down. If David wants to take him out, he will have to keep landing combinations and risk getting hit. Can he take it? Against Wladimir, yeah. Because he doesn't punch as hard close in as at distance. It was tougher for me against Riddick and Lennox because they were all-round boxers and, to be honest, David couldn't have taken their big punches."