A former cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion, David Haye (28-4, 26 KO) knows boxing. And with a blistering 81 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio, the Brit understands punching power as well.
What makes his prediction for Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury more significant than most is that Wilder was a sparring partner for Haye when Deontay was moving up the heavyweight ranks. In fact, the two men spent a lot of quality time in the ring in 2013 when David was preparring to face Fury. Haye vs Fury, of course, was canceled twice and never rescheduled.
"I sparred many rounds with him and I had to be switched on as much I was switched on for a fight," Haye told Fight Hype last month.
"Normally in sparring, you're giving it about 80-90%, a shot comes you're wearing big gloves, head guards but with Wilder you have to be on your game otherwise he can hit you and hurt you."
Sparring isn't fighting and guys usually take things a little slower. However, Haye insists he had to bring his A game when sparring Deontay because the latter was so dangerous.
Haye didn't give a full throttle endorsement of Wilder as far as a prediction but stated if forced to bet he'd put his money on Deontay.
"If I was forced to put a bet down on the current form, then you have to go with Deontay Wilder.
"Wilder is the most dangerous one-punch hitter on the planet right now. Whatever you think about Tyson Fury, you have to give him the utmost respect and he's willing to put it on the line."
Dave Coldwell, then a trainer on Team Haye who witnessed the epic Haye vs Wilder sparring sessions, told Fight Hype last year he'd make Wilder the favorite over WBA/IBF/WBO Champion Anthony Joshua:
“I would say that Wilder is a slight favorite. I don’t be into it that AJ (Anthony Joshua) is the favorite because I’ve seen Wilder in sparring taking licks. We had Wilder over (to the UK) when he as a young kid sparring David Haye. I’ve seen David Haye detonate bombs on Deontay Wilder’s chin and him (Wilder) just coming back saying – lovely! Lovely! And coming straight back and winging them (punches) straight back! He’s (Wilder) tough. He’s a lot tougher than he looks.”