Bermane Stiverne believes Deontay Wilder should not have made excuses for his loss to Tyson Fury.
The "Bronze Bomber" surrendered his WBC heavyweight title to Fury in their February 2020 rematch via TKO in the seventh round.
Since tasting the first defeat of his career, Wilder has fired trainer Mark Breland, claimed his water got spiked before the fight and accused Fury of having loaded gloves.
As it stands, the pair will go toe-to-toe on July 24 despite a member of the Fury camp testing positive to Covid-19.
Stiverne, who held the WBC crown from 2014 to 2015, believes his former opponent could have handled it a lot differently.
"I think that he should have just taken the loss like a man," he exclusively told Planet Sport. "There's a lot of things I could have said when I fought him the first time and lost the fight (that) I never said which I still believe today I could have said the same thing that he's saying today.
"But I just decided to take my loss - I lost and didn't make any excuses. The less excuses you make, and then you come back, the greater your will.
"I think if he is ready and he believes what he believes then the only thing that will matter is him performing like he should. I don't think the drink matters, I don't think the gloves matter, I don't think any of that matters.
"Just like the second fight (against me), the second fight went so quick. I got hit behind my ears and I was never able to recuperate and if you look at the fight I was so dizzy when he hit me behind the head and I put my hands up and I walked towards him and he hit me with a one-two.
"It barely touched me, I went down by myself. It was not a knockdown. I went down by myself, I sat down and was trying to shake it. No can do. It is what it is and is part of the game, I have no shame it's boxing."
Wilder not the biggest puncher
Haitian-Canadian Stiverne was involved in two fights against Wilder and took him the distance in their first encounter before being blasted out in the opening round of their second duel.
Wilder is arguably the deadliest puncher in the heavyweight division since Mike Tyson and has only fought 12 rounds on two occasions.
Despite feeling the force of Wilder's heavy hands, Stiverne insists that he was not the strongest opponent he's faced in his 16-year professional career.
"I've been hit harder than Wilder. The thing with Wilder is, Wilder will hit you with everything he's got. I'm not just talking about the fists, his forearm, his elbow.
"In the first fight (against Wilder in 2015), in round three he hit me with his forearm - the same punch from behind the head - and I think both of us went down at the end of the bell. And I stuck it to him and fought.
"If you look at the second fight closely, when my hands were up he went and reached behind my ears with the same punch and the next punch is a fist punch and of course he's going to knock you out.
"You're already hurt but the referee doesn't know that. Like I said, it's part of the game you just have to accept it and live with it."
Wilder can only win by KO
The first showdown between Wilder and Fury in 2018 ended in a split-draw. While Fury dominated the majority of the rounds, Wilder knocked the Briton down two times, including a dramatic final round.
If the Alabama fighter is to have any chance of winning, then he'll have to nail him to the canvas, according to Stiverne.
"It needed to happen - the third fight. The only way Deontay prevails is by knockout. Is it going to happen? It might happen. If Fury wins, it could be by knockout or decision.
"I really can't tell you who is going to win but it should be a good fight. It's going to be good for the sport, it's a trilogy. The last time we had that in the heavyweight division was quite some time (ago).
"I feel like in the third fight, the fans are going to win and boxing is going to win. It's a big fight, a huge fight and I don't actually watch boxing but there are two fights that I would probably take the time to watch.
"The first one is Pacquiao-Spence and I actually want to see this one (Tyson-Fury) and since I'm in Vegas, I might go and watch it," Stiverne added.