ANTHONY JOSHUA faces the toughest fight of his career, says former heavyweight world champ David Haye.
The current WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO king puts all the belts on the line against unfancied Alexander Povetkin.
As short as 1/14 with some bookies, there are already talks of ‘what’s next’ for AJ before he has even touched gloves with Povetkin.
But according to Haye, this is a dangerous game, and he thinks the Russian will prove a bigger threat than Wladimir Klitschko posed last April.
While Joshua got the win that time with a stunning 11th-round stoppage, he was shook to his boots after being floored by the veteran in the sixth round.
Speaking exclusively to SunSport, Haye said: “I believe Povetkin is the toughest opponent Joshua has ever had and that includes his fights with Klitschko, [Dillian] Whyte and [Joseph] Parker.
“His amateur pedigree is stronger than Joshua’s. He was Olympic, World and European Champion when representing Russia.
“He’s been boxing a lot longer than Joshua and he’s a few years older than him and a very, very solid campaigner.”
While Joshua has a ‘W’ next to his name for the Klitschko fight, Povetkin has the ‘L’ – but Haye isn’t reading anything into this.
Haye, who is a BetFair Ambassador after hanging up his gloves, added: “His [Povetkin] only loss was on points to Klitschko, and that was when Klitschko, was in his prime.
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“The Klitschko that fought Joshua, in my opinion, was not as good as the Klitschko that beat Povetkin.
“That’s not to take anything away from AJ’s victory, I just know from first-hand experience how years on one’s clock has such a notable impact on the fighter you face in the ring.
“Joshua is in for a real fight against a contender who is on a long string of victories and understands what it takes to win at the top level.
“Povetkin is hungry and determined and we are going to see a barnstormer of a fight.”
The winner of Joshua versus Povetkin will expect to get a crack at the WBC champ in a unification blockbuster.
David Haye spoke to the Sun through Betfair