David Haye has told Anthony Joshua he can’t get the rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as badly wrong as he got their first fight.
And the former world heavyweight champion has cast doubt over the Watford warrior’s future in the sport if he loses again. Joshua, 32, lost the WBA, IBF and WBO titles when he was outpointed by Usyk last September in London.
The pair are set for a rematch on August 20 in Saudi Arabia and AJ has ditched trainer Rob McCracken for new coach Robert Garcia. “I think his performance can’t get worse than first time, in terms of tactics and gameplan, that was the worst, I am sure Garcia won’t do that again,” said Haye.
“Change is good, different methods, face and voice, whoever was saying what, who came up with the plan is irrelevant, he has to win this fight to get back on top of the world.”
Joshua has only lost one fight before, when he was knocked out by Andy Ruiz Jnr in June 2019. The British star got revenge later the same year to reclaim the belts and become a two-time world champion.
Now he has to avenge his second career defeat to the skilled southpaw Usyk. Another loss was be devastating to his status among the best heavyweights in the world. Haye is not sure if Joshua would continue if he loses in Jeddah next month.
He said: “If he doesn’t win, I am not sure he wants to be in a sport where he knows he is not the best. He got outhustled by someone he knows he can beat. If he does everything right and Usyk still beats him, I don’t know if there is anything else to do. He is such a winner that I don’t know what he does next.”
But Haye, who was speaking to promote Derek Chisora’s clash with Kubrat Pulev this Saturday in London, does believe Joshua can get revenge. The Hayemaker, who also won world titles at cruiserweight, warned he has to get the game plan right though to stand any chance.
Haye added: “He believes he has all the physicalities to beat Usyk, so do I, so with the right plan he se just needs the right plan.”
Meanwhile, Joshua won’t take Tyson Fury up on his offer to train him ahead of his rematch with Usyk.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury had made a public plea to train Joshua after he was outpointed by the Ukrainian last September at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Gypsy King claimed his training along with his coach SugarHill Steward was the key to Joshua getting revenge and regaining the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
If Joshua beats Usyk then it will reignite talks of an all-British undisputed heavyweight title fight later this year. Lennox Lewis is the last fighter to hold the title of undisputed champion in the heavyweight division.
Joshua has recently ditched long-time trainer McCracken and has brought in American coach Garcia to work alongside Angel Fernandez and Joby Clayton in his corner. He has shown no interest in speaking to Fury and told his bitter rival to enjoy his retirement.
“Is there anything I could learn from him? Honestly, no, not really,” Joshua told the Mirror. “For a man that’s retired, go and have a beer, relax, go and help some people who need it. What are you talking about me for?
“He’s an interesting character, but I wouldn’t take his help as well. I’ve done my thing. He has done his, and good luck to him whatever he’s doing.”