Zhilei Zhang scores an emphatic TKO win over Deontay Wilder

Zhang shocks Wilder with a TKO win (Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Zhilei Zhang just grabbed another huge win in his professional boxing career after clinching a technical knockout victory over heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on June 2, 2024, in Saudi Arabia.

The imposing Chinese knockout artist floored Wilder at the 1:51 mark of the fifth round after landing a devastating right hook. Upon the initial impact, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight king still held his ground but after two seconds, he immediately wobbled and fell to the canvas.

Wilder showed a huge heart after beating the official referee’s count and got up. However, he failed to maintain his balance while being assessed if he was ready to continue in the fight.

Zhang’s bounce-back tour was a complete success following a disappointing decision loss to Joseph Parker several months ago.

Against Wilder, Zhang’s game plan was plain and simple. Pressure him at all times and keep him on the ropes to neutralize his knockout power.

Zhang executed everything flawlessly and constantly hounded Wilder in all five rounds, showing tremendous stamina and lateral speed in the fight.

Wilder had his moments in the second and fourth rounds when he was able to land his signature right-hand power shots but Zhang’s tough chin was able to eat the power up and kept his pressure.

Every time Wilder backpedaled and swung his right punch, Zhang was always ready for his counter, switching stances to adjust to his preferred distance.

With the great strategy Zhang deployed, Wilder’s five-round campaign turned out to be an inefficient performance for him.

Out of his last five fights, his loss to Zhang tallied his fourth defeat, his worst five-match stretch in his whole professional boxing career.

Zhang now improved to 27 wins, 22 knockouts, and two losses while Wilder dropped to 43 wins, 42 knockouts, and four defeats.

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