David Haye has handed special praise to his former sparring partner Deontay Wilder ahead of the American’s highly anticipated rematch with Tyson Fury.
The praise comes in the direction of his undisputed punching power; it is no secret that Wilder is commended as one of the hardest hitters to ever grace the sport, but is he the hardest ever?
Well, the two-time former heavyweight champion believes so.
Whilst Haye and Wilder never actually stepped inside the ring with each other for a professional heavyweight bout, they did go toe-to-toe in a handful of sparring sessions.
This was more than enough to draw Haye to the conclusion that the Bronze Bomber has the most powerful punch in boxing history.
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The Brit claimed that a punch from Wilder with the insurance of a head guard and 18oz gloves had more of an impact on him than a hit from another world champion Wladimir Klitschko with no head guard and the usual 10oz gloves.
Speaking to BT Sport, as per Boxing Scene, Haye said: "I truly believe he's the hardest punching heavyweight ever.
"I got hit by Wilder in sparring - and I've been hit by Wladimir Klitschko on the chin with 10oz gloves - but there was more effect from Wilder hitting me on the top of the head with 18oz gloves on and with me wearing a head guard.
"It wasn't even clean, it was glancing, but I felt that more. I remember after sparring him the first time I thought he was going to do something. He was wild, he was all over the place but the power... No-one mentions his punch resistance, but he can take a shot. I was giving him some digs; I've buzzed him a bit and he's been back wanting more.”
As mentioned, Wilder’s punching power is known, feared, appreciated and hailed by everyone in the sport, but Haye believes that his recovery and ability to take a shot is what really makes him a special fighter.
"Not only is it a good chin, but his recovery is great, most people you hit them with one shot their legs go and they're not the same. It takes a few rounds, but he's straight back on it.
"I remember thinking he can punch, and he can take a shot so once he gets his technique up to scratch which it is now I knew this kid was going to be something very, very special,” Haye concluded.
He may very well be forced to utilise his ability to recover quickly in his rematch with Fury; the Gyspy King has vowed to come out with a much more aggressive gameplan for the second bout between the two, after the Brit was knocked down twice in the first fight back in December 2018.
Both have won back-to-back fights since their controversial draw and will be looking to make a statement on February 22 when they face off for the WBC heavyweight championship.News Now - Sport News