Tyson Fury calls David Haye 'a mug' and 'a stepping stone'

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
I'm best heavyweight on planet - Fury

Tyson Fury has called David Haye "a mug" and "a stepping stone" ahead of their heavyweight encounter at Manchester Arena on 28 September.

Unbeaten Fury also insisted he would knock his rival out between rounds seven and nine.

"Whatever he brings to the table I can overcome - I'm younger, fitter, bigger, stronger," Fury, 25, told BBC Sport.

"I look at David Haye as a mug, a stepping stone to a fight against Wladimir Klitschko."

The 32-year-old Haye, a former two-weight world champion, is a big favourite to win in Fury's home town.

But Fury believes complacency will get the better of Londoner Haye, who has 26 wins from 28 professional fights, with 24 knockouts.

"If I'm any good I beat him; if I don't beat him I'm not as good as I thought I was" said Fury. "In fact, I'm useless.

"But David Haye is underestimating me and anyone who is underestimating me is in for a shock - I'm the best heavyweight on the planet.

"He believes that because I've been put down a couple of timesexternal-link he can get a big right hand on me and I'm going to go down and not get back up.

"He was very cautious against Nikolay Valuev [from whom Haye won the WBA heavyweight title in 2009] and Wladimir Klitschko [who took Haye's title in 2011].

"But I don't think he's going to run around the ring this time - he's going to bring it because it's his last chance to prove he's got something left.

"But he's always had stamina problems and he hasn't got a good work-rate. He's going to sleep and he's going to need someone to sing him a goodnight song - that might be me."

Fury added that this fight against Haye "means nothing" and that his ultimate goal was a match against Klitschko, holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

"I'm already number one in Britain and I want to be number one in the world," said Fury, who has 15 knockouts in 21 fights.

"I think Wladimir might retire after his fight against Alexander Povetkin [on 5 October], which I'd really hate, although it would leave the landscape wide open for me."