Haye targets Joshua for next year

David Haye wants to face Anthony Joshua next year in the “biggest fight ever on UK soil” as long as he firstly returns to winning ways.

The heavyweight is expecting to return later this year as he continues his recovery from the Achilles injury that undermined him during his defeat to Tony Bellew in March.

Negotiations are still ongoing for a rematch with Bellew in December and although Haye is coy on that matter, he is hopeful that he can eventually land a fight with Joshua for 2018.

“The plan is (to return) before the end of the year,” the 36-year-old said. “That’s what I’ve said since I had my operation. That’s what I believe will happen.

“There are a few names bouncing around but I’ll probably know in the next couple of weeks. (A rematch with Bellew) might happen but only if we can get on the same page.

“We have always been on different pages. I won’t be holding my breath for that one. If it’s supposed to happen it will happen but at the moment I wouldn’t put money on it.

“If I can have two fights back and work my way up the rankings, then it will be up to Joshua to give the fans one of the biggest fights ever in the UK.”

It was recently announced that unified heavyweight world champion Joshua’s next fight will take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on October 28 and Haye plans to get himself in a position to take on the WBA and IBF champion.

“Four fights, maximum. I believe I can work my way up the rankings and get the right fight with the right guys. Number one in my eyes is Anthony Joshua,” the Hayemaker continued.

“Joshua has some business to take care of with (Kubrat) Pulev but then next year, in an ideal world, I’ll fight Anthony Joshua.

“At the moment, I’m not on his radar because I lost my last fight. He’s worried about his mandatory challenger, not me, understandably. He knows he is my target; he’s everybody’s target because he is considered number one.

“If you want to claim you’re the best in the world in the heavyweight division, you have to go through Anthony Joshua and do something nobody has ever done before.

“I love that challenge, I love the fact that he’s 10 years younger than me and three stone heavier than me, three inches taller. That for me is a challenge and a challenge that 90 per cent of the population don’t think I’ve got a chance with.

“Next year, if I can win a couple of fights and he keeps his titles, we can both take on each other in the biggest fight ever on UK soil.”