Businessman-turned-fighter Joe Fournier feels he has the power to trouble two-division champion David Haye as the two friends battle in an improbable Pay-Per-View attraction in Florida on Saturday night.
Fournier (9-0, 9 KOs & 1 NC) talked his way into a clash with the former WBA heavyweight champion during a holiday in Mykonos and found the financial backing from social video platform Triller to coax the 40-year-old Haye out of retirement.
Light-heavyweight Fournier says he previously busted Haye’s nose during a sparring session in Miami and insists that he can spring a surprise.
“There was an occasion at the Fifth Street Gym in Miami where I slipped David, threw a left hook, I busted his nose,” Fournier told Sky Sports. “There was blood everywhere. So I do know that I can hit him.
“You don’t bust the nose of a professional athlete unless you hit him properly. David and I have sparred some heavy rounds. I’m heavy-handed and I have an excellent chin.
“When I hit him, he will feel it. He won’t just walk me down. He knows I can bang and we’ll be wearing small gloves.”
In his peak, Haye (28-4, 26 KOs) was noted as a fast, fluid and natural puncher, and Fournier is under no illusions about the task ahead of him.
“I need to be on my feet and to get him tired. If I throw haymakers in the first round, I’m in trouble. I need to show him that I won’t be bullied but, when I know his overhand right is coming, I need to get out of there,” said Fournier.
“People sleep on me as a boxer because of my business accolades. I’ve sparred rounds with Chris Eubank Jr and James DeGale. The best time to fight a really good fighter, as the underdog, is when he is older, has been knocked out and has been inactive.
“He will be under the lights for the first time in three years [since a second stoppage loss to Tony Bellew in May 2018] and it won’t bring back good memories. I have the chance to fight my idol, someone I have looked up to. It was surreal when I fought on his undercard at The O2.
“I’m going out there to do a job on David. And I know how to do that.”
Main image: Triller Fight Club.