Wladimir Klitschko has dismissed the challenge presented by Tyson Fury, insisting that David Haye would have knocked him out when they were previously scheduled to fight.
Klitschko is to defend his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Fury at Dusseldorf's ESPRIT Arena on November 28, just over two years after Haye postponed his fight with the Mancunian owing to a cut over his eye.
Haye, who convincingly lost to Klitschko in 2011 in what is one of the finest wins of the champion's career, was the favourite to defeat his British rival, and had he not withdrawn from another November 2013 date with Fury before retiring from the sport with a shoulder injury, Klitschko believes his latest opponent would not be where he is today.
The Ukrainian also said that Anthony Joshua could defeat Fury despite having had only 14 professional fights.
"David Haye would have knocked out Tyson Fury if that fight had happened," said Klitschko from his training camp in Stanglwirt, Austria, ahead of the fight on Sky Sports Box Office.
"I fought David Haye and I've sparred (Anthony) Joshua and can tell you David Haye would have knocked Tyson Fury out if he had taken that fight.
"It was not easy (when I fought) David Haye. Haye was fast with his hands and footwork, it was extremely complicated to hit him. Tyson Fury is not a power puncher. He does not have power behind his punches, is it with combinations that his opponents are TKO'd?
"Anthony Joshua is still raw but improved a lot so I think he would (beat Fury), yes. He would win that fight too."
Fury has previously made much of the fact that, five years ago while working with Klitschko's former trainer, the late Emanuel Steward, he was never given the chance to spar the champion.
The heavyweight claims that Klitschko rejected a direct invitation to spar him, and also takes pride in outlasting him while the two were in a sauna.
But Klitschko's version of events is that Steward refused to allow the spar through protecting Fury while the 39-year-old does not recall what happened in the sauna.
"Emanuel brought him here," Klitschko said. "He was trying to protect him from crumbling mentally in the ring with a champion. He was way too raw (to spar me). So he never put Tyson in the ring for that reason.
"He would have been beaten up badly and that wouldn't have been good for his mental side.
"The sauna thing was just childish, I don't know what he was talking about.
"He was at my training camp and I'm the chief executive here.
"But I remember him as very nice kid back then. Very courteous and respectful."
::Klitschko v Fury is live on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday 28 November. Buy now at skysports.com/klitschkofury