Zhilei Zhang showed his class today, posting an Instagram message expressing his appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for his fight last weekend and thanking his dance partner, Deontay Wilder, for sharing the ring with him at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

Zhang Acknowledges Wilder’s Power

Zhang (27-2-1, 22 KOs) acknowledged that he felt the power of the Bronze Bomber in their contest, which ended abruptly in the fifth round with the referee waving it off after Deontay was knocked down from two thunderous right hands from the southpaw.

Wilder had fought reasonably well in the first four rounds, not giving the counter-puncher Zhang many opportunities to land one of his hard punches. In the fifth, Wilder left himself open after he attempted to throw a right hand and was hit with a short right hook from Zhang on the chin.

It’s unclear when and where the 41-year-old Zhang will fight next. He had hoped to face Anthony Joshua in September at Wembley Stadium, but AJ could be fighting Daniel Dubois next.

Deontay hasn’t said what he plans to do next. He had talked about retiring, but he’s been quiet since his loss last Saturday. Perhaps he’s thinking things through before he makes his decision.

Zhang’s Instagram Message

Zhilei Zhang on Instagram today: “Goodbye to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It’s always been a pleasure fighting here. The world is watching the Kingdom becoming the center of boxing now. Thank you to my dance partner Bronze Bomber. I always respect you as a man, a father, and a warrior. I felt your power Saturday night, the power that can knock anyone out clean. I’m happy we both came out of the ring healthy and safe.

“Boxing is great with the Bronze Bomber. Don’t write him off just yet. Thank you to my team. Thank you, Queensberry and Matchroom Boxing for working together for this historical event. Special thank you to Turki Alalshik, the man who makes things happen. I can’t wait to get back in the ring again.”

It will be interesting to see if Zhang fights in Saudi Arabia again. A rematch against Filip Hrgovic or Joseph Parker would be an excellent option for Zhang.

Zhilei Zhang does march on. You can match him against anyone. He can fight Anthony Joshua at Wembley. He can fight Tyson Fury next, or he can fight Usyk,” said Gareth A. Davies to Boxing Social. “You put him in with anyone. He’s a great character, completely off the wall,  and he’s so funny. He has a screw loose, and I love that about him.

Read the full article here