David Haye believes Anthony Joshua’s best chance of avenging his defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr is to take him the 12-round distance.
Joshua knocked Ruiz down in the third round of their first meeting but was unable to finish the job and was dropped twice before the bell.
He was then knocked down twice in the seventh round before the referee stepped in to signal the beginning of Ruiz’s reign as champion.
Joshua immediately triggered the rematch clause in his contract and will challenge his Mexican-American rival in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
And Haye believes his countryman needs to adopt a more cautious approach and test the champion’s stamina.
“I’m split regarding this fight,” he told Mirror Fighting . “It will either end in a knockout or on points and if it goes to points it means Ruiz wasn’t able to duo what he does best and throw clusters of punches and work the body – and that Joshua will have kept him at bay with his jab and won enough of the rounds.
“But if there is a knockout, I believe it will come from Ruiz. If Joshua stands there throwing combinations with someone who bases his whole style on trading punches and turns it into a slugfest, I believe Ruiz will do something similar to the first fight.
“But if Joshua wins the first six or seven rounds comfortably then Ruiz will be forced to change his game plan and take more risks, in which case Joshua will have a very good chance of stopping Ruiz in rounds 10, 11 or 12.
“If he forces Ruiz to take more risks it will open the opportunity for him to land a massive counter punch when Ruiz is tiring. That’s the only way I can see Joshua knocking out Ruiz.”
Joshua did look himself throughout the rivals’ first meeting and repeatedly looked for assurances from his corner between rounds.
He was concussed by Ruiz’s first knockdown and failed to recover enough to prevent defeat.
But Haye expects the Brit to have progressed enough in the six months since the disaster in New York.
“You can change significantly in 12 weeks,” he added. “He’s probably been thinking about this rematch and what he could have done better since the first fight.
“The word round the camp fire is that Joshua has lost a lot of muscle bulk, that he will throw significantly more punches and that his defence has improved.
“He’s switched on and he’s going to be as prepared as we’e seen him for any fight. I’m looking forward to seeing the new, improved Anthony Joshua.”
David Haye stars in the next instalment of Betfair’s Serial Winners series, which looks at what sets apart sporting heroes and how they’ve achieved so much in their careers.
For more from Betfair Ambassador David Haye head to www.betfair.com/haye/