David Haye believes ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder should defeat Zhilei Zhang if he’s got anything left of his “old magic” in their twelve-round heavyweight contest this Saturday night on June 1st at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Wilder vs. Zhang will be shown live on DAZN PPV on the 5V5 event.

Former two-division world champion Haye feels that the 40-year-old Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs) is “tailormade” for former WBC champ Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) to hit with right hands straight down the pipe. What Haye isn’t certain about is whether Wilder can.

Deontay and Zhang are both coming off losses to Joseph Parker, an average heavyweight who had looked mediocre in his knockout loss to Joe Joyce in 2022 and against the scrubs he’d beaten leading up to the Wilder.

The southpaw Zhang’s power and counter-punching ability allows him to win, even if his work rate is low on Saturday night. He has enough power to stop Wilder if he can connect cleanly.

In Wilder’s case, his accuracy is gone, and he no longer has the self-confidence to sit down on his power shots as he once did. His two defeats against Tyson Fury have made him afraid to throw, and he won’t have any shot at beating Zhang if he’s too timid to throw his right hand.

David Haye: Wilder’s “Old Magic” Could be the Deciding Factor

“A massive fight two guys coming off loses to Joseph Parker. If Deontay Wilder can bring back the old magic if he can throw punches because he wasn’t throwing punches in that [fight with Parker],” said David Haye to Boxing News, analyzing this Saturday’s heavyweight crossroads fight between the aging 38-year-old Deontay Wilder and 40-year-old Zhilei Zhang in Riyadh.

If Wilder could bring back his old magic, he would have done so in by now, and avoided losing to Fury in 2020 and 2021. He looked shot in both of those fights, and he’s only fought twice since. The ambition is no longer there for Wilder.

“Joseph Parker nullified them. You would assume, with the way Zhang eats right hands down the middle, that he’s tailormade for Wilder. If Wilder can go back to anything close to his old magic, he should stop Zhang,” said Haye.

Amir Khan: Wilder’s Time is Over

“I got Zhang winning that fight. I think Wilder’s days are over now,” said Amir Khan. “I like the guy. There’s a time where you need to call it a day, and I think that’s his time now. He’s had a lot of hard fights. He’s beaten some great fighters, but still all the hard training camps.”

Both of these guy’s time is over, but Zhang has a little bit more left in the tank, provided his weight is down. Zhang looked heavy, slow and old in his recent loss to Joseph Parker last March.

He gassed out early and was laboring in the second half of the contest, not throwing punches and getting outworked. Parker looked bang average, but Zhang was too tired to throw after the first four rounds. A decent heavyweight like Agit Kabayel or Jared Anderson would have destroyed Parker, but Zhang looked 100 years old and unable to do anything.

“He needs to chill out now. Those two fights against Fury destroyed him and took a lot out of him. I could see against Joseph Parker. A lot of people thought he was going to walk right through him. It shows to me that Wilder needs to call it a day. Against Zhang, Zhang is a dangerous guy,” said Khan.

Wilder should have arguably retired after his loss to Fury in 2021, because he looked mentally and physically done. Age, ring wear and his huge fortune has robbed Wilder of the skills hie once had.



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