By Sean Jones: Paulie Malignaggi feels that Deontay Wilder has almost no chance of beating Tyson Fury next month in their trilogy match on July 24th outside of a lucky punch.
Former two-division world champion Malignaggi thinks it’s a crazy idea for Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) to be taking this fight, given what happened to him the last time he fought Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in February of 2020.
Malignaggi says the beating Fury administered on Wilder could have taken something out of him, leaving a lesser fighter for the third match.
Wilder has convinced himself that Fury cheated with the gloves and the rabbit punches that he was landing. He also believes that he was less than 100% because of the ring-walk costume he wore while walking to the ring.
Wilder’s inability to fight while going backward and the likely 40 lbs of weight that he’ll be giving up are factors that play in Fury’s favor for the third and possibly final fight between the two.
With the payday that Wilder will be getting for the third fight, you can’t blame him for taking the contractual issue to an arbitrator when Fury tried to skip out of the contract that they had.
It was a foolish blunder on Fury and his promoter’s part, believing they could walk away from a contract with Wilder.
It cost Fury a lot of money that he would have made fighting Anthony Joshua on August 14th in Saudi Arabia.
Fury can still salvage the Joshua fight if he beats Wilder, but it’s unclear whether Saudi will still be interested in shelling out huge money for a site fee after the fiasco on Fury and his team’s part. Wilder will be looking to ruin any chance that Fury has of facing Joshua later this year.
Wilder must convince himself he can win
“I think Wilder has the right approach,” said Paulie Malignaggi to The Schmo about Wilder’s trilogy match with Fury. “You’ve got to kind of have this in denial approach to it if you’re going to take this fight.
“You can’t think about it negatively. You’ve got to convince yourself that it was everybody elses’ fault and that Fury cheated.
“You got to convince yourself about all this stuff that people aren’t going to take you seriously, but you got to do it to put yourself in the best position mentally that you’re going to win the fight.
“I said that, and I don’t have a problem with that. If Wilder is going to be crazy enough to take this fight again, I think he has the right mental approach.
“He’s got to approach it this way because if you go into the fight with any kind of doubt at all, you’re only going to be doing harm to yourself. That doesn’t mean that I think Wilder is going to win the fight,” Malignaggi said.
Any fighter needs to convince themselves that they can win a fight, not just Wilder.
In Wilder’s case, he truly believes that he wasn’t 100% for the Fury fight last time due to the ring walk costume and a bicep injury he suffered in training camp.
You got to take Wilder on his word because if he says he wasn’t 100%, it’s silly to say he’s deluded, which Malignaggi seems to be saying.
Malignaggi: Fury will eviscerate Deontay
“I think Wilder is going to get absolutely eviscerated in the fight,” said Malignaggi. “I think he’s going to get smoked to where he’s never the same again because he took a bad beating the second time around.
“The first time around, I thought Fury outpointed him. The second time around, he took a bad beating, and that will usually change a lot of guys in general.
“If you’re going to ask for that type of beating again, I don’t see where he’s going. Here’s the thing. Wilder doesn’t know how to fight going backward. You’re not going to figure out how to fight going backward.
“You’re not going to mentally and psychologically and physically change yourself to the point where you’re going to figure out how to fight this guy going backward. Fury will back you up.
“Once Fury backs you up, he’s going to bully you. Fury is from a culture where they really support that masculine force. Gypsys have a bare-knuckle culture within their culture.
“They raise these kinds of men. Fighting is part of their culture, part of who they are, and part of their DNA,” Malignaggi said.
It’s reasonable to assume that if Wilder fights like he did last time, Fury will bludgeon him into submission in the trilogy.
What we saw in the second fight was Fury walking Wilder down, getting on the inside, and pounding him with clubbing punches.
What Fury showed is that Wilder has no power on the inside, and he has no game once his opponents can get into a safe zone in close.
Fury is obviously going to be trying to get in close all night because he knows he can’t stay on the outside against Wilder. After all, it’s too risky. If Fury can get inside, he’ll be able to use his 270-lb frame to rough Wilder up and tire him out slowly.
Wilder can’t fight backing up
“None of this BS that Wilder keeps preaching about pushing the race issue, and pushing the cheating issue or pushing the Mark Breland was a traitor issue,” Malignaggi said.
“None of that is going to matter to Tyson Fury. He is going to execute a game plan against you, and I don’t think Wilder can handle that kind of opponent.
“I don’t think Wilder knows how to fight backing up; there’s no shot. If he proves me wrong, more power to him. But what is going to happen when you’re starting to get backed up by Fury again, and he’s putting a beating on you, and you can’t claim white privilege.
“Fury is not bigger than you because of his white privilege. Fury is bigger than you because he’s genetically a bigger guy, and he knows how to fight that way.
“So for me, I just want to make sure I don’t get misunderstood. I think Wilder is true to himself by having this in denial mentality. And I think he is in denial.
“I think he’s absolutely in denial because, like I said, I think he’s going to get the living sh** beat out of him. But he can’t go into the fight thinking what I’m saying.
“He can’t go. He can’t do that otherwise. The fight is pointless. The fact that he’s going to the fight this way, I don’t have a problem with it.
“I have a problem with him bringing up the race issue every second that I have a problem with. But everything else I don’t have a problem with. He’s got to handle it or not handle it,” said Malignaggi.
Looking at Wilder’s workouts with his coach Malik Scott, it appears that he’s not going to give ground to Fury as far as backing up.
We’re seeing Wilder using lateral movement, which he didn’t use in either of his first two fights with Fury.
If Wilder can implement sideways movement against Fury, it won’t matter if the 270+ lb British heavyweight is coming forward all night. He’s going to need to deal with Wilder hitting him from different angles.
Malignaggi likely hasn’t been paying attention to Wilder’s workouts with Malik, so you can understand why he’s forming his opinions based on his first two fights with Fury.
He clearly believes that Wilder is too set his ways for him to change for this fight, and he could be right.
It’s up to Wilder to show whether he can change his fighting style for the third fight because he might need to if he can’t knock Fury out with a straight right while he’s coming straight to him.