David Haye is caught between selling a spectacle to keep the pay-per-view cash rolling in and an honest appraisal of the calibre of opponent he faces next week. The compromise is a prediction that sees Tyson Fury making it to the second round of their all-British heavyweight bout in Manchester before reposing on the canvas for good.
Haye takes one look at Fury's record and shakes his head. He understands the interest in this fight, that Fury has talked up a head of steam, but can't take his opponent seriously as a boxer. "You look at our pedigree, what I have achieved, what he has achieved. You have to be a bit of an idiot not to realise that I'm going to beat him up easily," he said.
"He has done nothing in his fights to suggest not only that he might beat me but that he can even compete with me. I'm predicting a second-round knockout for this one. I'm predicting he'll walk into one. Any fighter can get through the first round, he can spit his gum shield out, he can hold me, he can run. But once he gets that onslaught he'll be looking to get out of there."
Haye claims he has bounced around sparring partners of higher quality than Fury, whose enormous dimensions – 6ft 9in and 18st, will count against him. "He just gives me more to hit. Fury comes out swinging like a bar-room brawler. There's lots of body, lots of head, lots of neck to tee off.
"People say he is tough, but who has he fought? You scratch the surface and ask does this guy punch very hard? The answer is no. I am a noted puncher, one of the hardest in the world."
Haye v Fury on 28 September is live on Sky Sports HD Box Office and Sky 3D Box Office. Visit skysports.com/hayefury for booking informationReuse content