David Haye knows a thing or two about coming up against monstrous challenges at heavyweight and he has some controversial advice for Daniel Dubois on how to beat Oleksandr Usyk in his first world title shot.
Most famously, Haye stepped into the ring against the towering Russian Nikolai Valuev in November 2009 to challenge for the WBA heavyweight title.
Haye used his feet to get inside the giant 7ft boxer’s long arms, land quick, clean shots and get back out of danger. He took a 12-round unanimous points and added the world title to his collection having been a unified cruiserweight world champion.
But that is not his advice for Dubois, who many think has only a puncher’s chance. Speaking to TalkSport Boxing about Dubois’ chances, Haye recognises that he is ‘young, fresh, big’ and that he ‘packs a punch’ but warns him not to get involved in a boxing match with Usyk.
“If you try and have a slick boxing match with him as Anthony Joshua did on two occasions, you’re going to come off second best.”
Instead, Haye warned that Dubois’ best chance is to follow Derek Chisora’s approach to fighting Usyk.
“Use his size, his good chin, get close, don’t play the long-range game. Punch the back of the head, get into the kidneys, slow down Usyk so once there is a break in the action Usyk’s are slower.”
Haye admitted this might mean Dubois would get stung and peppered with shots in the early rounds but controversially suggested that the Brit should be getting points deducted for being rough.
“Just don’t get in the Usyk zone. Get close, get physical early. If he doesn’t have a point deducted for infringing the rules at some point, I’m talking rabbit shots to the back of the head, he’s got to act as though his life depended on it. Get you there, make this very rough very tough and throw clusters of punches.”
It’s an unlikely game plan for Dubois but at this point, he must use every trick in the book to upset the odds which say he is very much the underdog this weekend in Poland.