Few people are giving Deontay Wilder a shot at defeating Zhilei Zhang in their heavyweight fight this Saturday night, June 1st.

Wilder’s Recent Struggles

The former WBC champion Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) has had too many poor efforts in the last four years for fans, media, and fighters to pick him to be victorious against Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs).

Deontay looks like he’s thinking too much, and not confident to let his shots go unless he’s certain he won’t get countered.

Wilder vs. Zhang will be fighting a twelve-round bout on the 5 vs. 5 event, live on DAZN PPV at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Deontay still has the speed and power advantage to knock out anyone in the division, including Zhang, but he’s seemed afraid to pull the trigger on his punches since his knockout loss to Tyson Fury in 2020.

Wilder doesn’t throw enough punches to increase his chances of winning. We saw that in Wilder’s last fight against Joseph Parker last December.

Parker didn’t do anything special and was there to be hit if Wilder had gone after him. He looked like he didn’t mentally show up for the fight.

Zhang looked almost as bad, losing to Parker last March. He had Parker on the canvas but gassed out after three rounds, and he could barely throw a punch in the final nine rounds.

Expert Predictions: Divided Opinions

“Intriguing match-up. I can see a couple of scenarios. If Wilder goes about it like I think he’s going to go about it, I’d slightly favor Zhang,” said Ben Davison to Boxing News about Saturday’s fight between former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang.

Davison likely feels that Wilder is going to fight aggressively, which will leave him vulnerable to getting countered by one of Zhang’s hard shots. If Wilder had a better chin, he might be able to take some of those punches, but his glass jaw won’t hold up.

“Zhilei Zhang won’t be hard to find the way Parker was, and he’s still got that freaky power. So, you can easily say that Wilder is the favorite, but Zhang is a big puncher as well,” said Matthew Macklin.

“He’s on a better run than Wilder and has been more active. So, they’re two big punchers. I don’t know who wins it.”

Zhang had the two knockout wins over Joe Joyce but then gassed in his last fight against Parker. If Wilder can box Zhang for six rounds, he might be able to defeat him down the stretch.

“Two fighters coming off of defeats, and two fighters with fantastic power,” said Richie Woodhall. “Is there one last big fight for Wilder? I’d like to think so, but we know what Zhang can do. I’d probably edge Zhang.”

“Wilder, I think he’ll be a lot better than he was last time. That was a really bad performance,” said Fraser Clarke.

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