By Scott Gilfoid: David Haye is advising Anthony Joshua to bend the rules a bit in his rematch against unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to gain an advantage over him.
Joshua tried playing by the rules last September when he fought the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, and the talented Ukrainian easily outboxed him.
The former two-division world champion Haney recommends that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) use his size on the inside to rough up the smaller Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), forcing the referee to step in give him warnings for his infraction of the rules.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is in negotiations with Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk for a fight in the summer in what he hopes will be London.
Usyk wants the rematch to be staged wherever it can make the most amount of money, which at this point could be Saudi Arabia.
With Joshua’s huge net worth, estimated at $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, he can afford to make less money to get the hometown advantage by staging the rematch in London rather than a neutral country.
“I think he’s going to do what he should’ve done in the first fight and that’s the bigger man, push the rules to the limit, you need to be warned by the referee for infringing some of the rules,” said Haye to talkSPORT. Do some damage inside. If he is, he wins, but if he does the same thing again and tries to have a boxing match, he loses.”
Oh my, look at what Haye is advocating Joshua do against Usyk. I never thought it would get to this level. If Joshua lacks the talent to beat Usyk, what’s the point?
It’s not as if Joshua will be able to use the same tactics to win all of his fights from this point.
Well, it looks like Haye wants Joshua to take the slash & burn approach to the rematch with Usyk. Of course, Joshua must know that if he resorts to openly cheating to try and get the win, two can play at that game.
Usyk has been around the block and knows strategies as well how to win in that manner, but he’s arguably too classy of a guy to get in the mud with Joshua and slop around.
The talented Usyk will count on the referee to do his job by penalizing Joshua and/or disqualifying him if he goes the whole hog with the rule-bending on the night.
Haye isn’t saying what Joshua should do to bend the rules, but you’ve got to imagine it could involve a nasty combination of these roughhouse tactics:
- Rabbit punches
- Leaning his weight on Usyk
- Low blows thrown with maximum power
- Lacing Usyk’s face with the gloves
- Throwing Usyk to the canvas
Just how many of those illegal roughhouse moves Haye would like to see Joshua use against Usyk in the rematch is unknown. It is troubling, though, if Joshua were to resort to cheating to try and beat a fighter.
If Joshua is as good as his promoter, Hearn says he is, why would he need to bend the rules to win? We don’t know that Joshua will follow Haye’s advice, but if he does, it shows you have bad things have gotten with him.
“I believed that Joshua was going to beat Usyk,” said Haye. “I just thought physically, he was too big, too imposing, punched too hard, and when they got in close, he would just be able to rough him up.
“He did the polar opposite to all of the things I thought he needed to do to win,” said Haye.