Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang fight

By vicky684 Wednesday 24th of July 2024
The heavyweight clash in Saudi Arabia features Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang, both seeking redemption after recent setbacks that jeopardized their championship dreams. Wilder and Zhang, known for their powerful punches, are each coming off a loss to Joseph Parker, who was an underdog in both fights. Parker's victories have elevated him in a heavyweight division that's buzzing after Oleksandr Usyk's win over Tyson Fury to become the first four-belt undisputed champion.

Wilder, who held the WBC championship from 2015 to 2020, aims for another title shot after his knockout defeat to Fury. Despite Wilder's reputation as one of boxing's hardest hitters with 41 knockouts in 42 wins, he struggled in his trilogy with Fury, managing only a split draw before suffering two stoppage losses. His recent lackluster performance against Parker, where he appeared disinterested and passive, raised further concerns as he lost decisively.

In a recent press conference, Wilder expressed confidence and enthusiasm about working with Eddie Hearn, despite their rocky past. He emphasized the unity and determination of his team, promising a dominant performance on Saturday.

Wilder's passivity could be a problem against Zhang, who boasts significant punching power with 21 knockouts in 26 victories and tends to start aggressively. Zhang's first professional loss came in a controversial decision to Filip Hrgovic in August 2022, but he rebounded by knocking out Joe Joyce to win and retain the WBO interim title. However, Zhang's fight with Parker also revealed his tendency to fade in the later rounds, contrasting with Wilder's recent hesitance to throw punches.

The event also features other notable bouts, including Filip Hrgovic versus Daniel Dubois for the vacant IBF interim championship. Hrgovic, the IBF mandatory challenger, anticipated fighting for the IBF world title but now awaits the sanctioning body's decision on whether to strip Usyk if he proceeds with a rematch against Fury. If Usyk is stripped, the Hrgovic-Dubois winner could be elevated to world champion.

Additionally, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitrii Bivol will defend his title against undefeated Malik Zinad, after originally being slated to face Artur Beterbiev, who withdrew due to injury. Bivol praised Zinad for taking the fight on short notice and expressed excitement about facing a confident, undefeated opponent.

Let's review the undercard and the latest odds before diving into predictions and expert picks for the main event.