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Malignaggi: ‘Wilder can become more DANGEROUS in third Fury fight’

Deontay Wilder, Paulie Malignaggi, Tyson Fury boxing photo

By Allan Fox: Paulie Malignaggi doubts that Deontay Wilder can improve much for his third match with Tyson Fury later this year, but he does believe that he can make himself more DANGEROUS if he makes some smart moves inside the ring.

Wilder had mental problems

Malignaggi doesn’t say what those smart moves are the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) needs to make for him to beat Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), but it’s realistic to assume that he can’t back up as he did in their second fight.

Malignaggi believes that Wilder’s problems were more mental than physical last time he fought the 6’9″ Fury on February 22. Going into that fight, boxing fans expected Fury to box off his back foot like he’d done in his first contest against Wilder in December 2018. Few people expected Fury, 31, to come forward looking to take the fight to Wilder, and trade power shots.

Although Fury had warned Wilder repeatedly in the run-up to the fight that he was going to pressure him, no one believed him. Fury isn’t a big puncher, and he couldn’t handle Wilder’s power in the first fight without hitting the deck twice.

Wilder says his game was offer because of his legs and due to a bicep injury. Also, he says he had another problem that he’ll disclose later that prevented him from being 100% for the Fury rematch.

Wilder isn’t giving any hints about what that problem might be, but it could be an issue that took place during his training camp. He came into the fight unusually heavy at 231 pounds, and he looked like he wasn’t well trained in terms of his cardiovascular system.

Wilder’s problems were more mental

“Deontay has a couple of weapons, but I don’t know if he can add too many weapons,” said Malignaggi to IFL TV on Wilder’s loss to Fury. “I do think he was thrown off by the aggressive mentality by Fury, and that put him on his back foot, and he never really recovered from it.

“I think the issue was more mental than physical. Deontay is still a dangerous guy. I just think that once he was put on his back foot, he never got himself into the fight. When the mental part turned physical, and Fury started putting a beating on him, I think it was hard for him to recover from it,” said Malignaggi.

Wilder did look surprised when Fury came forward from the first round, looking to exchange with him. What further added to Wilder’s problems was his poor accuracy with his shots. He was missing with his right-hand power punches repeatedly and getting countered by Fury. That didn’t help Wilder one bit.

Once Fury started hitting Wilder with punches that looked like they were aimed towards the back of his head, that messed up his equilibrium. The referee wasn’t warning Fury about punching to the back of the head, and that meant the fight was going to be one of those anything goes type of affairs.

The Marquee of Queensbury rules went out the window during the fight, as it looked like Fury was looking to rabbit-punch his way to a victory, and it worked. Wilder didn’t know how to fight that kind of a style for him to compete with Fury, who looked like he was using the same tactics that he had in his previous bout against Otto Wallin.

Deontay Wilder, Paulie Malignaggi, Tyson Fury boxing photo

Deontay can make himself more dangerous

“I don’t think he can tactically do anything different, but he can mix in some things at times within his ability. He can make some smart decisions inside the ring at certain times.

“I don’t think his ability will get any better or worse right now, but I do think if he’s smarter and makes better decision making in the ring, he may be able to make himself more dangerous.

“I think Joshua is one of the best fighters in the world, but right now, I think Tyson Fury is the #1 guy in the heavyweight division. I’m not sure,” said Malignaggi when asked if Fury can knock out Joshua. “I think Joshua can hurt him too. I’m edging towards Fury right now against any heavyweight in the world.”

Wilder can make himself more dangerous if he makes sure he doesn’t get hurt right away with Fury’s shots like last time. Additionally, Wilder has to figure out how to improve his accuracy because he’s not going to do well if he misses all night long.

One way for Wilder to improve his accuracy is to focus more on throwing to Fury’s midsection. It’s hard to land headshots against a heavyweight like Fury, who uses a lot of head movement. Fury can move out of the way of body shots as well, but he’s not nearly as good at doing that as he is at moving his head.

Unfortunately for Wilder, he’s never been a body puncher during his career, and he would need to devote his entire training camp on learning how to do that for him to have a chance of beating Fury in their third fight.


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