Anthony Joshua backed to KO Tyson Fury early in "controversial" prediction

David Haye has somewhat surprisingly predicted that Anthony Joshua will knock out Tyson Fury early on in the huge upcoming clash between the two British heavyweights.

The lucrative bout – which is being described as arguably the biggest of all time – moved a step closer to becoming reality earlier this week after Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that both men have "put pen to paper" on a two-fight deal.

And a venue and date is hoped to be confirmed within a month, with Saudi Arabia looking the most likely bet.

The undefeated Fury is the favourite to win the encounter with bookmakers.

But speaking to Sky Sports News, Haye stated his belief that the Gypsy King may be too complacent following his win against Deontay Wilder last year – and thinks AJ could well claim a surprise victory in the early rounds.

“I think it’s the perfect time for Anthony Joshua,” Haye said.

“Tyson Fury is on such a high. The victory over Wilder made him look a million dollars, his confidence will be sky high and I genuinely think Fury and his team don’t rate AJ as highly as they should do. That, in itself, causes potential issues.

“If Tyson Fury attacks Anthony Joshua in the same manner, in which he did in Vegas against Deontay Wilder, I don’t believe it works in his favour.

“I believe he’ll be too open, too wide and someone as fast, athletic, and as skilful as Anthony Joshua will be able to punch right through the middle and take him out, and take him out early.

“I know it’s a controversial prediction.”

Hearn's announcement has not been received well by Fury's promoter Frank Warren, who told talkSPORT: "Everybody signed an agreement that there would be no announcements unless they were joint announcements and that came out the blue yesterday."

But Hearn has hit back: "Everybody signed an agreement that there would be no announcements unless they were joint announcements and that came out the blue yesterday.

"It's called momentum, it's excitement. There are still hurdles to overcome. We've still got to go out and decide where this is going to take place but we are moving in the right direction in terms of dates. It's momentum, it's good news. "

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