Mike Tyson has been critical of Deontay Wilder in the past, but the boxing legend is giving "The Bronze Bomber" a chance in his future trilogy bout against Tyson Fury.
During an Instagram live chat with rapper Fat Joe over the weekend, "Iron Mike" said it's all on Wilder to make the changes necessary to bounce back and defeat Fury, who delivered a seventh-round TKO over Wilder in February to become the new WBC heavyweight champion of the world.
"There's always a chance," Tyson said. "Everyone always has a chance. It depends on how much they want to give in to it. If (Wilder) wants to dedicate his life to really winning this fight, anything could happen."
Moments before that, Tyson additionally encouraged the former WBC champion by saying: "Deontay Wilder could still make a lot of money. He shouldn't feel sad or discouraged. He should continue to go out there and fight with a lot of zest and confidence."
Wilder and Fury fought to a controversial split draw back in December 2018. Fury thoroughly outboxed "The Bronze Bomber," but Wilder delivered two knockdowns in the bout, including a 12th-round knockdown that the "Gypsy King" incredibly beat the count on.
When the two clashed last month, though, Fury immediately asserted himself and smothered Wilder for two knockdowns before blasting him toward an emphatic seventh-round stoppage. Wilder blamed his first pro loss on the 40-pound costume he wore into the ring soon thereafter. Tyson saw it differently.
"He didn't fight the same fight he fought the first fight," Tyson also told Fat Joe. "The first fight, he fought with confidence like he could win. This fight (the rematch), he fought like he didn't have any zest, no life in him. I just don't think he was the same fighter after the first fight. The first fight, he couldn't rise to that occasion again."
A third fight between Fury and Wilder was set for this summer, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the cloud of uncertainty that comes with it, has pushed it back to the fall.