Former two-division world champion David Haye recently talked about Ukrainian pound-for-pound boxer Oleksandr Usyk. Haye believes that a prime version of himself would have handled the Ukrainian pretty comfortably. He reckoned that he could have taken out Oleksandr Usyk if he was in his prime similar to when he fought Enzo Maccarinelli or Jean-Marc Mormeck.
David Haye on Oleksandr Usyk: “I think I’d have definitely got that guy out of there”
Haye was a unified champion at cruiserweight and later moved up to heavyweight and captured the WBA crown from the largest champion in the history of the weight class – the seven-foot Nikolai Valuev.
“Yeah I’d like to believe in my prime – the night I fought Enzo Maccarinelli or Jean-Marc Mormeck – the speed and the timing. And I always liked southpaws, the right hand landed,” Haye told ID Boxing News.
“Watching Tony Bellew fight Usyk, Bellew was controlling the fight while he was there. If he was younger, if he was fresher, he could’ve done a lot better. If I put myself in that same fight with Usyk and Tony – take Tony out and put my prime in there – I think I’d have definitely got that guy out of there.
“Obviously the guy now is a different animal at heavyweight, he’s put on some weight now, he’s had tremendous fights. His fight against Derek Chisora was a very close one, he scraped a victory there. When I fought Derek, I knocked him out in five rounds.
“We’ve had one similar opponent, and Bellew. He knocked Bellew out, Bellew knocked me out twice. So I’d have been confident going into a fight with him. It would’ve been tricky, it would’ve been hard, but I would’ve found a way to get to him and I wouldn’t have allowed some of the stuff he does to some of these bigger heavyweights. The stuff he did to Anthony Joshua, he wouldn’t have been able to do to me because I’m quicker than he is.”
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Usyk became the undisputed world champion at cruiserweight. He moved up to the heavyweight division in 2019. Two years later, he captured the IBF, WBA, IBO, WBO world titles with a twelve round unanimous decision over Anthony Joshua.