Deontay Wilder admits he previously lost his love for boxing, but is prepared to turn things around against Zhilei Zhang. | Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images

Deontay Wilder says he feels great about working with people who want him to be a ferocious killer in the ring.

Deontay Wilder talks about being the ‘captain’ of Matchroom Boxing as he heads into a June 1 showdown with Zhilei Zhang. In particular Wilder says he’s feeling better about working with a group of people who encourage his capacity for homicide inside the ring instead of trying to make him dial back his rhetoric for broader public consumption. Check out some of what Wilder had to say below.

Wilder on signing with Matchroom after a long stint with PBC

“To be apart of Matchroom and the captain, how ironic that is, but how special and sweet it is at the same time. I once was told from a wise old man when you’re doing business even with people you don’t like, business is business, treat it accordingly.

“Sometimes you may have to work with the people that you’ll never see yourself working with in 1000 years, but at the end of the day being around a person for so long, understanding their ways as they understand your ways, you know what type of category or place to put them in when they’re in your environment.

“So when you know how to handle a person you’re able to get along with them, you’re able to coexist with them.”

On feeling rejuvenated and having that spark back after his loss to Joseph Parker

“The last one was a blessing in disguise. I thought I had things figured out and when you think you have things figured out and you go through something else — you probably think things ain’t put together as you thought it were until you realize when you get into a fight, like damn, it’s a little bit more to go. And it’s a blessing in disguise because after that fight I hit the ground running that Monday morning.

“So I look forward to displaying what I feel is here. I lost the love of boxing, you know. I lost that fire and desire in me due to a lot of things occurred to me in my life. And people don’t understand as a fighter, you’re so much more outside of the ring. We still have business, we still have personal problems, and then we have to deal with life itself. It’s a lot. And then come and try to be the best that you could be up in a career. It’s a lot that we have to deal with, we’re not robots.

“The ultimate thing of it all, what I’m excited about, is that I’m working with people that want to see that monster, that want to see that killer, that won’t judge me for saying I want to kill a man and put them on my record like the world done me for their own various of reasons.”

On how he views his fight with Zhilei Zhang

“I got the utmost high respect for him. He’s a fighter and I think he’s a pretty damn good fighter as well, so I’m definitely going to have to be on my A-game with him. He understands what he’s up against and what I bring, and I understand what I’m up against and what I often bring to the table. Two bangers, this is a good fight. This is an amazing fight, actually, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I didn’t do what I wanted to do last fight, so I owe the Saudi fans something. I owe them some excitement. I owe them a knockout. I owe them a great win. And I’m looking forward to June 1st, delivering that knockout for Matchroom.”

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