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Zhilei Zhang vs Deontay Wilder June 1st

Wilder's career on the line

By Athletic AsiansPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Zhilei Zhang vs Deontay Wilder June 1st
Photo by Attentie Attentie on Unsplash

Zhilei Zhang is the strongest heavyweight boxer in the world. Weighing at 287-291 pounds, he is a giant of a man. He makes heavyweights look small and Deontay Wilder is a big man as well. It only seems fitting that both men fight each other since both of them lost to the same fighter, Joseph Parker in their previous fight.

Zhang will fight Deontay Wilder on June 1st, 2024. This could inch either fight closer to Oleksandr Usyk, the one who just beat Tyson Fury, pending a fight between Usyk and Joseph Parker doesn't materialize. Knowing that Usyk gave up his IBF championship, this probably indicates a rematch between Usyk and Fury is very likely. They just have to wait.

Deontay Wilder needs this win more than Zhang, as he is in the waning phase of his career. He has been great for so many years, but just like every great champion, he is passing his prime. It's not that Zhang is any younger. Zhang is older at 41 years of age. He's 38. But that doesn't necessarily mean the two fighters went down the same path. The trilogy with Tyson Fury, which catapulted him to stardom also became his Achilles heel. He gave it all in those three fights. The first fight was a draw. In the second fight, he was TKO'd. In the third fight, he was KO'd. Not to take anything from Joseph Parker's victory, but the version of Wilder he fought was not the same Wilder before the trilogy with Fury. Fury was just as damaged, in my view. Their fights were so intense that it is incomprehensible to think they didn't somehow ruin their careers. They gave it all and in the end, they had nothing left to give.

The damage Wilder took against Fury was evident in his fight with Joseph Parker. He was hesitant to exchange punches, becoming passive. He was easily hit by Parker's right hand. If Wilder gets hit with those same punches against Zhang, will he be able to keep standing? It will be interesting to see how he does because Zhang will be the hardest puncher he will face in his career.

Zhang is unusual for a heavyweight. He's a southpaw and he is from China. There are just not many Chinese heavyweights out there. He was 291.6 pounds in his fight against Parker. In Wilder's fight against Parker, he was 213-214 pounds. The weight difference is tremendous. Wilder is the smaller fighter of the two, despite being an inch taller.

Deontay Wilder's weakness has always been his weight as a heavyweight. He roughly weighs 214 in a division where heavyweights in the range of 250-290 are becoming more common. This might have been the underlying reason for the development of the bridgerweight division by the WBC, that is boxers weighing between 200-224 pounds. It has in a way gotten convoluted and uniformed.

Zhang is huge compared to Wilder and if Zhang pushes him to the ropes with that extra weight throughout the fight, that is an extra hurdle that could prove to be a challenge. Assuming he and Wilder both come into the ring with their normal fighting weight, it would be about a 78-pound weight differential. That is huge by any norm. Keep in mind that these are heavyweights. But, even that kind of weight differential is rare, considering divisions are practically being made up right now. That is understandable, but is it really necessary since that was what made the heavyweight division unique to begin with?

This fight will be action-packed, a fight that could determine the future of these two warriors. Who are you picking? Wilder or Zhang?


About the Creator

Athletic Asians

I am a blogger about Asian Athletes.

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Comments (1)

  • Mr.Lightabout a month ago

    quite impressing

Athletic AsiansWritten by Athletic Asians

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