Coming into Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury III, David Haye believed the Bronze Bomber would have what it takes to put the Gypsy King away now he was 100 per cent healthy.
Haye said he had heard Wilder had a major shoulder problem that affected his right hand for the second fight, when he was soundly beaten by Fury.
Ahead of this fight, Wilder bulked up and had 18 months to get himself right. The changes saw him drop Fury twice and come about as close as he could have to winning in the fourth round.
Fury would end up securing an impressive victory with an eleventh round stoppage and Haye, who called Fury out last month, had to admit he got it wrong.
“I definitely got it wrong because I thought Deontay Wilder now that he was coming with both guns blazing now that he had his right hand back, that would be enough to take Fury out if the opportunity arose, which I knew at some stage it would,” said David Haye to iFL TV.
“It nearly happened. He heavily put Fury down a couple of times in the fourth round, but to Tyson Fury’s credit, he was able to shake him off and get back up and put it straight back on Wilder.
“Not only was it a great performance by Fury, but he also took Wilder’s best biggest punches. I consider him the single biggest punch as a heavyweight ever with his right hand, and he took it clean in the forehead.
“It shook him to his boots. That same shot [from Wilder] has knocked out 41 people in the past.
“Fury showed that his chin was as good as everyone thought it was prior to that fight.
“It was a great performance. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was a fight where both fighters showed up and did their very best, and we got a very, very clear conclusive victor. Fury, that performance for me, showed he’s number one.”
WBC heavyweight champion Fury has indeed proven he is number one and many are now calling him the greatest heavyweight of his generation.
However, Haye wanted to give Wilder some credit for lasting as long as he did. Wilder fired Mark Breland for throwing in the towel during his second bout with Fury and and there was no way Malik Scott was going to be allowed to do that.
True to his word, Wilder went out on his shield.
“I know a lot of people wrote Wilder off [after the second fight], but he showed tremendous heart to stay in there,” Haye added.
“True to his word, he didn’t want this corner to throw in the towel to save him for this day, which was a great thing.
“It appeared to everyone’s point of view to be the right thing, and this time around, I’m sure Malik Scott was given strict instructions that no matter what happened to him in that fight, no matter how much of a beating he was taking, don’t even pick up that towel to throw it.
“‘I’d rather die in the ring’, he said that, and he proved it. He [Deontay] finished out on the battlefield with no bullets left in his gun. He could not have done anything more. Credit to him,” said Haye.