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Home » Deontay Wilder admits career is over with Zhilei Zhang loss

Deontay Wilder admits career is over with Zhilei Zhang loss

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Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder admits his career is over if he does not take out Zhilei Zhang on June 1 in Saudi Arabia.

“The Bronze Bomber” is in the last chance saloon, as World Boxing News stated previously, following a defeat to Joseph Parker in December. The loss represented a third in four fights for the American slugger, who has been without a victory since September 2022.

Wilder now heads into a shootout with Chinese puncher Zhang, who – like his opponent – can blow hot and cold.

Wilder was honest with the world’s media when discussing his place as Eddie Hearn’s captain of Turki Alalshikh’s 5 vs 5 tournament.

“I’ve been through a lot. I’ve had to regroup, and things don’t just change overnight. You have to keep working and keep pushing until you get what you want,” said Wilder.

“I’m at this point in time where I’m narrowing it down. Come the night of the fight, and we will see if I’ve got it or not. I’m holding this fight down as my last dance, my last chance. That’s why I’m taking it accordingly. I’m just ready to do what I’m known to do. To be the Wilder, I am.

“I lost my love and passion for this business. I lost my hunger for so many different reasons, but now I’m in an opportunity where people love the wildness of Wilder.”

Alalshikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, confirmed the players as Hearn and rival Frank Warren pit their stables against each other in Riyadh on June 1.

The 5 vs. 5 backs up the undisputed championship clash between light heavyweight rulers Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Top Rank will present the undisputed 175-pound showdown as part of a split broadcast between ESPN+ and DAZN PPV.

Beterbiev vs. Bivol tops the event and will be televised on ESPN+ separately from the rest of the DAZN PPV bill.

Beterbiev vs Bivol TV details

5 vs 5

Daniel Dubois challenges Filip Hrgovic for the IBF number one spot. The winner is first in line for an undisputed shot at Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk. Of course, there’s Wilder vs Zhang completing a heavyweight double.

At featherweight, Nick Ball faces WBA champion Ray Ford. Ball was unfortunate not to have won the WBC title following his fight against two-weight world champion Rey Vargas from Mexico in his last fight.

Ball dominated much of the fight and knocked the Mexican down twice, but the judges returned cards declaring a split draw.

Queensberry’s undefeated middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz trades with Austin’ Ammo’ Williams. Meanwhile, Willy Hutchinson and Craig ‘Spider’ Richards finalize the card.

In staging the show, His Excellency Alalshikh stated: “The Five vs Five match is one of the standout events on Riyadh’s calendar this year. It will feature ten exciting fighters from Queensberry and Matchroom. The Riyadh calendar looks forward to hosting more major events and establishing partnerships that promise unprecedented entertainment for the audience.”

Hearn, who drafted Wilder as a wild card entry to his stable, added: “The best Sport stems from the most significant rivalries. And on June 1, I am confident Matchroom will reign supreme over Queensberry.

“I have assembled a team of elite world beaters who are ready to do the business. Losing isn’t an option. With the brilliant Dmitry Bivol challenging for the undisputed light-heavyweight championship, this is undoubtedly one of the best boxing cards ever.

“We’ve already seen a few contenders in Riyadh, all thanks to the outstanding vision of His Excellency Turki Alalshikh. I’m sure this unprecedented five-versus-five will be the first of many duels with Frank Warren and his team – and may the best man win!”

Read all articles and learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor Phil Jay.

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