By Terence Dooley
David Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) has issued a warning to fellow Londoner and heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 early) ahead of this Saturday’s IBF heavyweight title clash between the unbeaten contender and America’s Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 stoppages) at London’s O2 Arena.
Haye meets Arnold Gjergjaj at the O2 on May 21 in his second comeback fight of 2016—he hopes to secure a money-spinning all-British showdown with his rival should Joshua prevail.
However, the “Hayemaker” believes Martin is a dangerous foe and is worried that taking on a southpaw for the first time as a professional in his biggest fight to date represents a huge risk for the 26-year-old.
“From my experience of fighting against southpaws, what you usually do in sparring does not work,” said the former cruiserweight Champion and WBA heavyweight titlist when speaking to the Daily Record.
“You have to reinvent your style, change angles, where your hands are held up. If Joshua comes out and holds the same stance he did against Dillian Whyte, he will have big problems. He will have to come out and do something completely different, otherwise it's going to be a very tough night and he might have to dig deep and take some big shots before he can land his own.”
He added: “I've seen a couple of little snippets of the work AJ has been doing and none of it seems to be against a southpaw. I hope that behind closed doors the right preparation has been done. It could be a very tough night if he isn't fully prepared to adjust himself to counter the awkward southpaw attacks.
“I hope he's OK because he hasn't done anything to show me he has the boxing instincts to change what he does. Maybe he does it in sparring and I just haven't seen it yet.”
Joshua, though, has shown a willingness to adapt. When reviewing his win over Whyte for Sky TV, he stated that he learned from his mistakes in that fight. Indeed, he has vowed to show his fans that he can adapt and overcome both in training and in the ring by producing a mature performance in his first world title fight.
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