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David Haye has warned Anthony Joshua he risks missing out on a big-money fight if he chooses to chase a world title shot. The big-punching Londoner is keen to face Joshua later this year, but fears those plans will collapse if Joshua loses a fight in pursuit of a world championship belt.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has already rejected an offer from Haye for the Olympic star to face him in a money-spinning clash. Haye warned Joshua that a bout between the duo would lose much of its appeal if Joshua were to suffer a first defeat as a professional.
"It would hurt his plans, it would be a setback," said Haye, according to The Mirror. "It would make a fight with him not as interesting and not worth as much money.
"At the minute, people are giving him a shot against me. That's what makes it interesting. But if he loses to someone, how interesting would it be then? People would see his flaws and maybe not want to see him fight me.
"If he gets the opportunity to fight in an eliminator for the world title, I'll be there supporting him as much as anyone. Anything that makes our fight bigger, I'm all for."
Haye is eager to face Joshua and thinks his experience would give him the edge in the proposed fight. "You've got to remember what stage of our careers we're at," he said. "I'm 35 years of age, the world heavyweight title fights I've had, European title fights and so on.
"I've been out injured longer than he's had his professional career. I was world heavyweight champion before he had even started boxing. I'm way further in front of him in terms of development and experience. He can't catch up on that in one year.
"I've been a pro 12 years. I'm not sure what he's going to learn in the next year-and-a-half which will catch up on that."