DEONTAY WILDER will look ‘crazy if he gets destroyed’ by Tyson Fury in their rematch or ‘come out looking brilliant’, Paulie Malignaggi said.
Wilder will face his heavyweight rival for a third time after his right to a trilogy bout was awarded in arbitration.
The American passed up on the opportunity of a step aside fee, which would have allowed Fury to fight Anthony Joshua.
Wilder, who was dethroned of the WBC belt in February 2020, could have also taken interim bouts in the meantime on the road to redemption.
But instead, he has rolled the dice and backed himself to beat Fury – a sign the heavy-hitter has not lost confidence in his right hand.
Malignaggi, 40, told DAZN: “He could have waited in the wings and got a comeback win but no, his actions prove he genuinely believes what he’s saying.
“One per cent doubt is too much. He’s going to come off looking crazy if he gets destroyed, or he’ll come out looking brilliant.
“When you’re one step ahead of people you look smart, if you’re two steps ahead you look insane.”
Wilder, 35, first drew with Fury, 32, in 2018 but he was emphatically beaten in the rematch two years later.
The second fight included an immediate rematch clause but amid the coronavirus pandemic, the trilogy bout was cancelled.
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Fury’s side then argued the stipulation expired as they instead entered talks with Joshua, 31, for an undisputed title decider in Saudi Arabia in August.
All meanwhile Wilder fought his case in civil court and a mediator later ruled in his favour after months of talks.
Fury was then faced with either paying the former champion a compensation package or proceeding with the trilogy.
Neither had any plans to negotiate a step aside deal, meaning their series would be renewed, with a headliner set for July 24 in Las Vegas.
Wilder comes into the fight having made a litany of baseless excuses on why he suffered his first loss, including Fury having WEIGHTS in his gloves.
But Malignaggi argued the laughable excuses are all part of the Bronze Bomber refusing to believe his aura of invincibility died out.
He said: “I don’t think it would have been a bad idea for Wilder to take an in-between fight.
“I don’t like the way he lost the fight being so one-sided. He took a lot of physical trauma which can leave some doubt in you.
“He came off as a sore loser, but here’s what I like about that. You’ve got to be in denial about yourself as a fighter.
“If Wilder seriously believes he can beat Fury then all his way of thinking, crazy as it sounds, is the only way to back himself up for that match.
“He has to believe something, because he can’t just feel, ‘This guy’s better than me’. I think he’s in denial and I don’t have a problem with that.”