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Deontay Wilder’s career on the line with one win in five years

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Deontay Wilder has backed his power to overcome Zhilei Zhang on June 1 with the former heavyweight champion’s career on the line.

Wilder hopes to bring out “The Bronze Bomber” for the Riyadh clash after his alter-ego went missing against Joseph Parker in December. Suffering a third-career loss, Wilder has only secured one victory since 2019, a shocking statistic he has to put right.

If he manages to blast Zhang out spectacularly, Wilder will reignite a fight with Anthony Joshua for September in London. The Alabama native believes he can recapture the form that made him one of the most feared top-division punchers on the planet.

“I’ll put my right hand up against anyone,” he told DAZN. “If I land this on the flesh of any face, whether it’s a human, an animal or an extraterrestrial, something is going to happen.

“I’ve just been blessed with the gift of power. God has blessed me tremendously,” he added.

Zhang will be no pushover for Wilder. The Chinese juggernaut can break down opponents and take them out. This scenario will happen if Wilder isn’t on top of his game. Tyson Fury managed to do this against Wilder in their rematch, something the 38-year-old will be keen to avoid.

If he doesn’t, his career will be over for good, with nowhere left to go. Fellow American Roy Jones Jr. believes many may have written off Wilder too soon.

“Come on, man, UFC guys have five, six, seven or eight losses. They still put on good fights,” Jones told TMZ. “Why boxers can’t do that? Just because he lost, that doesn’t mean it’s over.”

On Wilder needed to feel fear to be at his best, Jones added, “You’ve got to be in overkill or he is going to beat you. That’s kind of what I feel like what happened with him. I don’t think Deontay Wilder’s washed at all. Wilder’s got to have a fight that intrigues him.”

Whether Zhang is the challenge Wilder needs will only become apparent at the first bell. However, if Wilder can’t get up for a fight that will end all hopes of any further significant events, it will be time for the Tuscaloosa man to hang them up anyway.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.