DEONTAY WILDER is in ‘amazing physical shape’ ahead of a third fight with Tyson Fury, according to his protege Raphael Akpejiori.
The Bronze Bomber was beaten up by Fury, 32, in their second fight in February but is blitzing himself in the gym ahead of the scheduled trilogy clash in December.
Wilder, 34, has been mentoring Nigerian heavyweight prospect Akpejiori and he could spar the 29-year-old in preparation for The Gypsy King.
The former WBC champ has upped his training regime in Miami.
He is being looked after by the same coach who drills former University of Miami basketball and American football star Akpejiori.
Akpejiori told Sky Sports: “Based on what I know, the only person that can beat Deontay right now, is Deontay.
“He will beat Fury if he sticks to the game plan from his coaching staff, and I know that he has all the physical tools.
“Right now he is in amazing physical shape, that I can tell you for sure.
“You will see a completely different Deontay, mentally and physically in the ring, when that bell rings again for that third fight. That I can tell you.
Wilder surrendered his WBC crown after suffering a seventh-round stoppage against Fury in Las Vegas.
His corner controversially threw in the towel after Wilder was dropped twice by the man from Morecambe.
Many thought Fury had done enough to win the first fight in December 2018 on points but the judges ruled it a draw after The Gypsy King miraculously got off the canvas in the 12th round.
He made sure it didn’t go the distance second time round but Wilder’s sparring parter has since claimed The Bronze Bomber carried a bicep injury into the fight.
But Akpejiori denied he is struggling with his physical condition and added: “You’re going to have to wait for Deontay to break it down and address those rumours.
“Listen, I can tell you from my conversations with Deontay that he was ready to fight Tyson Fury in July.
“The only reason why he didn’t fight Tyson Fury in July, was because the fight was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that came after that.
“He does the same workouts that we’ve been doing. I don’t know how somebody can be injured and do all that. It’s really hard stuff, I can tell you that for sure.”
The Alabama fighter immediately opted to take up his rematch clause against Fury but Covid-19 put pay to chances of getting a fight on this summer.
Yet promoter Bob Arum is ‘optimistic’ the two will fight on December 19 in front of 10,000-15,000 fans in the 65,000 capacity new Raiders Stadium in the US.
Akpejiori made it clear Wilder – who has advised him since 2017 – is still ‘very hungry’ to reclaim his belts from Englishman Fury.
He said: “Oh yeah, he definitely is. You can really tell that’s all he’s thinking about, from just talking.
“We talk about a whole lot of other things, personal stuff, boxing promotional stuff.
“But concerning fighting Tyson Fury, he’s extremely confident. He’s very excited about that third fight.
“I can tell you for sure that he’s very hungry, and he’s trying to get back into the ring as soon as possible.
“He’s in great spirits, excited to get back to fight Tyson Fury.”