David Haye has questioned whether Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) should take on conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) in an immediate rematch.
In a major upset, Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles to rank outsider Ruiz Jr by seventh round knockout at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 1.
Speaking to talkSPORT, former unified cruiserweight champion Haye suggested Joshua should consider a couple of tune-up fights before climbing through the ropes to face Ruiz Jr again.
“If AJ wanted to take a couple of fights before Andy Ruiz, I don’t think that’d be the worst thing to do,” Haye said.
“But if he believes in his heart he has what it takes to win in the rematch straight away, then I believe he goes for it, he should just do it.
“If he’s got question marks still, if he doesn’t know what happened, if he felt good going into that fight and he just lost like he lost, then there needs to be some adjustments made.”
Ruiz Jr, 29, recovered from a third-round knockdown to send the defending champion to the deck twice in the same frame. In the fateful seventh round, Joshua was on the canvas twice more before referee Michael Griffin stepped in to stop the contest at the 1:27 mark.
Haye believes Joshua will need to overcome some significant mental demons to atone for his unsuccessful US debut.
“Anthony Joshua will have to have that hard talk with himself to say, ‘Okay, maybe Miami wasn’t the best place to train,” said Haye, who retired last year with a record of 28-4 (26).
“’Maybe I had a few late nights more than I needed to. Maybe sparring wasn’t as competitive as it needed to be.’
“Sparring should be preparation for the fight you’re about to have.
“And if he asks himself, deep in his heart, how many of the rounds he did in sparring replicated the rounds that he received on the night in New York, he’ll then realise work needs to be done.
“Work needs to be done today and he needs to start making some changes.”