Wilder: Career On The Line Against Zhang, No Room For A Loss

Deontay Wilder knows he cannot afford to lose against Zhilei Zhang after hinting his career is on the line. 

Wilder suffered a shock defeat to Joseph Parker last December, ending hopes of an Anthony Joshua bout. The former WBC Heavyweight Champion only won one round across three judges’ scorecards. Wilder’s right hand and jab were off-target on the rare occasions he threw them. After the loss, Wilder shut down talks over his retirement. Several excuses were put forward for Wilder’s below-par performance. The Bronze Bomber blamed jet lag, while his trainer, Malik Scott, blamed Wilder’s Ayahuasca usage. This time around, Wilder knows there is nowhere to hide. 

“This fight I’m holding it as my last stand, my last chance, and that’s what I’m taking it as. I’m just ready to do what I’m known to do and be the Wilder I am. You know, I lost my love and my passion for this business, I lost my hunger for so many different reasons.

But now I’m in an opportunity where I’m dealing with people that I love…It’s amazing to be around people who appreciate what they see in front of them. I’m not playing around this time, I have nothing to lose. I’ve lost a lot of things in my life, even including some of the closest people in my life, so I don’t feel like I have nothing else to lose, but only to gain,” Wilder said

Wilder has focused on his jab and right hand since returning to training. The footage above shows Wilder hitting the power jab, followed by the right-hand combination. Since Zhang possesses devastating power, Wilder must get his opponent to respect his power. Zhang dropped Joseph Parker twice in his last fight. While he lost a decision, it will urge Wilder to be wary of overcommitting. But Malik Scott warned Zhang that any slip-ups would be punished.

“Zhilei Zhang is a big heavyweight that gets hit. That right there is enough for Deontay Wilder to have a chance at clipping him. You’re a big man, a bigger target. That means your defense is slower. I don’t care how dangerous you are. The bigger you are, the slower you move,” Scott stated 

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