British professional boxer David Haye is of the opinion that Anthony Joshua would easily triumph over Wladimir Klitstchko if they face-off later this year.
The Ukrainian was scheduled to fight WBO and WBA champion Tyson Fury on October 29 but events took a dramatic turn when Fury pulled out - it was later revealed that he tested positive for cocaine.
Ever since that disclosure, it is being speculated that Joshua could be replacing his compatriot, although on a different date.
Haye believes Joshua has the credentials to succeed against the former heavyweight champion which could lead to bigger accolades in his career in the future.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the 36-year-old said: “Joshua wins that fight very easily. I really believe that is the case.”
He points out that the performance level of Klitschko has plummeted in the last few years and it could aid Joshua’s chances of winning the tie.
“I’ve seen how Klitschko has been declining in recent years. In his fight against Fury, he looked the worst I’ve seen him and averaged around twelve punches a round.”
Haye brings to the limelight the role of the official during the game as it would prove to be pivotal for deciding the winner.
He further added: “All Joshua needs is a fair referee, because if they have one then Klitschko will be disqualified for holding. The Ukrainian will be desperate to get close to AJ, so that Joshua can’t let his hands go. Referees in the past have let him get away with it.”
Haye himself is poised to fight the 26-year-old next summer and is currently planning a comeback into the ring on December 10 with his opponent yet to be named.
He also had a previous encounter with Klitschko in 2011 where the 40-year-old gained victory which was one of the two losses of Haye’s entire career.
Despite the proposition of fighting Joshua in 2017, he hailed the talent of the International Boxing Federation champion saying: “Facing the likes of Joshua, a young and hungry champion, is the reason why I'm in boxing.”
"A unification fight with Joshua at Wembley in the summer would be massive and it doesn't get much better than that.
"He's a tremendous athlete but I think that I have the skillset and experience to outmanoeuvre him and stick the Hayemaker on his chin."
It remains to be seen what the future unfolds but it is guaranteed that some close contests would be fought in the months ahead.