Ricky Hatton: David Haye must be kept away from Tyson Fury fight at all costs

In his latest column with Metro.co.uk, the British boxing legend hits out after a bad weekend for the sport and previews a huge night of action on Fightzone.

Haye must avoid Fury

I wouldn’t have thought Tyson Fury would be taking David Haye’s call out very seriously. David Haye is a friend of mine, I think the world of him, but it was clear to see in his last fights with Tony Bellew that his best days are clearly behind him. Tyson Fury in his last fight was at the top of the game! We can’t allow that to happen.

I wasn’t very happy to see Evander Holyfield get knocked out in the first round at the weekend, not at all. The board of control in Florida need investigating for allowing that to happen. I’m all for exhibitions, I’ve said I’m open to one myself, two former champions showcasing their skills one last time for the fans with the understanding that no one will get seriously hurt. But this was very different. It was a 58-year-old Holyfield, coming in on a week’s notice to replace Oscar De La Hoya.

Evander Holyfield says he wants to fight Mike Tyson next, David Haye wants to fight Tyson Fury… I think the world of David Haye but sorry, no. They need saving from themselves.

We need to protect our fighters

I wrote something on Instagram this week saying the people who allowed this Holyfield fight to happen should hang their heads in shame. There were a few people who said: ‘It’s a personal choice. If a man wants to do it, he should be allowed to.’

We need to save boxers from this and more importantly, they need to be saved by the people around them. The boxer’s health is always the priority. And if we allow Tyson Fury to fight David Haye and Evander Holyfield to fight Mike Tyson, we are putting boxers at real risk. So I don’t care whether it is their choice. We need to save boxers for the sake of their health.

These fighters feel great in the gym, but they don’t look great in the ring. David Haye looks in superb condition, he is a pure athlete and there is no doubt he probably does feel good but he fought Tony Bellew a good few years ago now and it was clear he was past his best. I don’t think anything has improved since he’s been out. Tyson Fury just destroyed Deontay Wilder with the best performance of his career! David, you need to behave yourself.

We have to move with the times, I understand that. Floyd Mayweather fought Conor McGregor, then he fought Logan Paul. Mike Tyson fought Roy Jones. We can get away with that, Tyson and Jones was an exhibition, both were well prepared and the conditions were right. Floyd and Logan probably had some sort of understanding of what was actually going to go on in there.

But Holyfield got put in a very bad situation by his people. Exhibitions are fine, as long as there are boundaries to protect and maintain the boxer’s health. This is a social media world, we have to move with the times. But I don’t care if you’re a boxing purist or a fan of the YouTubers, if you find that entertaining, then you want to have a look in the mirror.

David Haye and Tyson Fury have their history and back when it was meant to happen it had some substance, it made sense. It doesn’t now. And I say that with love for David. Let’s concentrate on Tyson Fury and his proper fights while also saving our heroes from nights like last Saturday in Florida.

Fury has backup plan if Joshua fight never happens

No one hypes things up better than Tyson Fury. If the fight with Anthony Joshua doesn’t go on, and I’m not pointing the finger at AJ, or pointing the finger at Tyson, but if it doesn’t happen, I think Tyson is getting his Plan B and Plan C in place.

He is not going to hang around, he is not getting any younger. He wants his legacy cemented and if that defining fight doesn’t happen he is not going to sit on the sidelines, he is going to want to keep earning.

I think it’s very commendable him saying he’s going to give Dillian Whyte a shot. That is long overdue for Dillian. His plan to fight Chisora for a third time in his final fight is commendable too, Dereck has been a great servant in British boxing. We all want the AJ fight but he’s got his plans for what might happen instead.

British title on the line on Fightzone

Fightzone returns on Saturday and there is a cracking fight this week with Tommy Frank and Matt Windle fighting for the British flyweight title. It’s a potential fight of the year in my opinion, a proper war.

Tommy has had a tough nine or 10 months with back-to-back defeats to Rosendo Hugo Guarneros so he will have something to prove here. Windle was on Fightzone not to long ago in another classic against Neil McCubbin – he was only sparring with Tommy a couple of months ago and now they are fighting for a British title. It’s another quality bit of matchmaking from Dennis Hobson, paving the way for these great domestic clashes.

Kash Ali is also back in action, defending his IBF European heavyweight title against Roman Gorst. He’ll be looking to move up the rankings again and he will have that extra confidence boost now he has got a belt. It is onwards and upwards for him, he is back on the right track.

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