He was himself one of the hardest-hitting men during his time in the sport, but now David Haye has given credit to a sparring partner who hit him harder than anyone else – pro fights included.
Haye is one of Britain’s most well-known fighters having achieved plenty of high-profile success in his career, as well as being involved in some more controversial moments outside the ring.
Early on he was a fantastic cruiserweight who managed to become the unified world champion within six years of turning pro.
He was widely regarded as the best in the world for a couple of years from 2005 onwards when he held those three major world titles as well as the Ring magazine belt.
It was in 2008 that he moved up to the banner division and managed to win the WBA championship against the giant Nikolai Valuev. He defended the belt against John Ruiz but a fight with Wladimir Klitschko in 2011 proved a step too far.
After a period of retirement, he came back to fight Tony Bellew twice, losing both times, but by that stage, his body was all but giving up on him.
He has now posted a message on X about one of his most famous spars with Deontay Wilder, who fights Joseph Parker this weekend.
“Sparring with Wilder was a revelation in power and skill.”
“Many years ago when Wilder was an up-and-coming prospect I sparred with him. By a mile, he is the biggest puncher I’ve been in the ring with and I can only judge that with big 16oz gloves on and the head guard.”
He also threw it forward to Wilder and Parker this weekend.
“It’s a terrifying thought taking those bone-crushing right hands, and his left hook is no joke. I believe there will be multiple knockdowns in this fight at the weekend.”