LENNOX LEWIS has no idea what is running through Deontay Wilder’s head after Tyson Fury burst his bubble.
The 56-year-old ring legend watched his fellow Brit obliterate the Bronze Bomber in February 2020.
Wilder blamed the one-sided loss on a heavy ring-walk costume, his trainer Mark Breland for throwing in the towel, the referee for allegedly being crooked and Fury for supposedly loading his gloves with metal objects.
The American, 35, refuses to accept the first loss of his career — and his reputation will be in tatters unless he produces something spectacular here in Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.
And mastermind Lewis, heavyweight boxing’s last undisputed king, has no idea what the dethroned former champ is now thinking.
He admitted: “I have tried to get in the head of Deontay but he is in his own bubble. It is OK being in your own bubble, sometimes, if it works for you.
“You can tell yourself you only lost because you got caught with a lucky shot — and that can sometimes work for you.
“But what changes that is a punch in the face — that wakes you up quickly.
“A punch changes everything. All the things you practised can suddenly stop working and you might even realise that all the things you were practising were wrong, or you were just doing it wrong. When the fight happens, we will know.
“If he says all these people are cheating and this and that, all right . . . let’s see if all these things happen again.
“If they don’t happen, let’s see what he says this time if he then loses.
“He says all these things but no one else is saying them in his team. He’s the only one saying them.
“He’s in a bubble. How long is he going to stay in that bubble until it bursts? When it bursts is the reality check of, ‘What happened this time?’ ”
Wilder axed Breland and head trainer Jay Deas and has released training footage of him trying to be a more technical boxer and not a one-trick pony.
But he did not start boxing until he was 21 and Lewis doubts whether an old dog can be taught new tricks.
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He explained: “People realised Deontay has never really had to back up and he was being made to do it for the first time. And he has to learn that the guy going forward has a better chance to land than the guy going backward.
“Unless you have really been practising fighting on the back foot, and you are used to it, it is going to be difficult to adapt that quickly.
“If you have not practised it, then it is difficult because the rule is — if you are going backwards — that you stop, plant your feet and throw your punch.
“But that takes a lot of training and only a few people can do that — and I am in that bracket.
“But it is very difficult to learn all the things he has tried to learn in this short space of time between the fights. All these things need to have been done early.”
Lewis was a student of the game who managed to combine violent, concussive punching with technical excellence and brilliant tactics.
Wilder’s mantra is that his opponents need to be excellent for all 12 rounds, while he needs just a couple of seconds to detonate his life-changing right hand.
But Lewis warns him that waiting for the one perfect punch could cost him — and it might never even happen.
London-born Lewis said: “Tyson is a great boxer, he boxes orthodox and southpaw and he loves the sport.
“The sport is not all about knockouts for him, he loves to box and look good.
“In Deontay’s mind, he has knocked out lots of people before and — as he always says — he only needs that one second.
“But that second has to come around, you have to wait for the right time — and sometimes that second never comes.
“That is why you have to give it to the boxer who is putting in all the work all the way through the fight.”
BT Sport Box Office will show Fury v Wilder: The Trilogy exclusively live in the UK on Saturday. For info go to bt.com/sportboxoffice