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Deontay Wilder's Return to Boxing's Spotlight Against Zhilei Zhang

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has opened up about his renewed passion for boxing, marking a pivotal moment in his career as he gears up to face Zhilei Zhang in Saudi Arabia on June 1. The highly anticipated showdown is set to be a highlight of the Matchroom vs. Queensberry Promotions 5v5 event, and for Wilder, it carries immense significance as he seeks redemption following recent setbacks.



Deontay Wilder


Wilder, boasting a formidable record of 43 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw with an impressive 42 knockouts, acknowledges that his upcoming bout with Zhang is make-or-break for his career trajectory. The 38-year-old fighter, still reeling from a wide loss to Joseph Parker in December, recognizes the gravity of the moment as he steps back into the ring.


Joining Eddie Hearn's team as a 'Wildcard' selection, Wilder's collaboration with Hearn comes as a surprise to many, underscoring the unpredictable nature of the boxing world. Reflecting on this unexpected partnership, Wilder expresses his optimism, stating,


"I feel good. No one thought me and Eddie would work together, so this is the ultimate surprise right here."

In a nod to the transformative influence of Saudi Arabia on the sport of boxing, Wilder acknowledges the innovative approach to promotion and entertainment. Commenting on the evolving landscape, he remarks,


"They’ve rearranged and changed the way boxing is done and I’m looking for that acting career after, you don’t have to get hit."


This reference alludes to the elaborate promotional trailer reminiscent of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, filmed in Bulgaria weeks prior.

Despite the respect he holds for Zhang as a formidable opponent, Wilder exudes confidence, declaring, "I respect Zhang, he’s a good fighter, but it’s my time." Embracing the significance of the upcoming bout, he views it as his "last stand," determined to prove his worth and reclaim his status as a dominant force in the heavyweight division.


Wilder's candid reflections reveal a fighter who has grappled with internal struggles but now stands reinvigorated and resolute in his pursuit of greatness.


"Here I am, I’m not playing around this time," he asserts. "I mean business, I can feel the desire and sensation in my heart is coming back."

In response, Zhang, with a record of 26 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw, acknowledges the challenge that lies ahead, recognizing Wilder as "the heaviest puncher in boxing." Despite the daunting prospect, Zhang remains undaunted, affirming his commitment to seizing opportunities when they arise.

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