End of an Era: Deontay Wilder’s Knockout Loss Signals Retirement

Deontay Wilder’s Knockout Loss Signals Retirement

Deontay Wilder’s knockout loss to Zhilei Zhang last Saturday in Riyadh has left fans speculating that the Bronze Bomber’s illustrious career may have come to an end.

Wilder, the former WBC heavyweight champion, looked like a shadow of his former self, unable to muster his signature power against Zhang at the Kingdom Arena. Despite his record of 43-4-1 with 42 KOs, the 38-year-old Wilder struggled throughout the fight. Although he didn’t officially announce his retirement post-fight, many believe this could be his final bout unless an exceptional offer entices him back. However, it seems unlikely that promoters would invest in a Wilder-headlined PPV at this stage.

A Shadow of His Former Self

Gareth A. Davies of Boxing Social expressed his dismay, stating, “Watching Deontay live, being cornered and hunted, was a sad sight. He was a shell of his former self.” The knockout in the fifth round, resulting from Zhang’s right hook, highlighted Wilder’s diminished capabilities. Despite his pre-fight confidence, Wilder’s reluctance to engage aggressively suggested apprehension about Zhang’s counters. When he finally threw a right hand, Zhang’s counterattack quickly ended the bout, sending Wilder to the canvas.

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“The aura of the Bronze Bomber was gone. When he got caught in the fifth round, he couldn’t pull the trigger,” Davies remarked. He acknowledged the possibility of Wilder fighting again but only for a significant payday against a weaker opponent.

The Toll of Past Battles

“The fights with Tyson Fury took a tremendous toll on Wilder, especially the trilogy,” Davies added. Wilder has lost four of his last five fights, with Zhang’s right hook in the fifth round highlighting his vulnerabilities. Wilder’s inability to avoid Zhang’s power punches ultimately led to his downfall.

A Merciful Ending

Reflecting on the bout’s conclusion, Davies said, “I was relieved when the referee stopped the fight. It was merciful.” Wilder’s potential for a triumphant farewell fight in the UK remains, where he is still revered by fans.

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