Wilder vs Zhang Prediction

Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang steps back into the ring this weekend for his clash with Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia. With age eroding the finesse of both boxers, a defeat here would be a significant setback in their heavyweight title aspirations. Who will win in this high-stakes encounter? Here’s our Wilder vs Zhang prediction. 

Tale of the Tape 

Deontay Wilder returns to the ring in the Saudi capital five months after suffering a points defeat to Joseph Parker. Wilder's record stands at 43-3-1, with a number nine ranking in the division. 

His upcoming opponent, Zhilei Zhang, is positioned higher at number five. Zhang, like Wilder, also fell short against Parker in his last bout, which took place in Riyadh back in March. The 41-year-old Zhang boasts a professional record of 26-2-1. 

Wilder vs Zhang Prediction

Wilder vs Zhang Hot Tip: Zhang to Win By KO, TKO or Disqualification

Given the firepower on display, expect this fight to be decided before the final bell tolls. While it's a close call, Zhang appears to have a slight edge. He’s been the more consistent fighter over the last half a decade, and is the bookies’ favourite for a reason.

Wilder vs Zhang: Key Stats 

  • Wilder enjoys a slight physical advantage over Zhang. He stands an inch taller and boasts a significant five-inch reach advantage.
  • Wilder also has a significant advantage in ring time, with the Alabama man having fought 69 more rounds (a total of 174 compared to Zhang's 105).
  • Wilder also edges out Zhang in knockout percentages. He has a 98% KO percentage, while Zhang’s pre-fight KO percentage stands at 81%.

Fight Odds and Win Probability

Here's how the Wilder vs Zhang odds stack up ahead of this fight: 

Deontay Wilder: 13/10 (2.30) – Implied probability 43.5%

Zhilei Zhang: 4/6 (1.67) –  Implied probability 60%

Draw: 16/1 (17.00) – Implied probability 5.9%

*Wilder vs Zhang betting odds from bet365, subject to change.

Keys to Victory 

Our official Wilder vs Zhang prediction has the latter winning this fight. While both men have comparable records, the recent inactivity of Wilder tips the balance of this clash towards the Chinese fighter. 

While Wilder has been relatively inactive, Zhang has kept himself busy in the ring. Over the past four years, the Chinese fighter has amassed twice the number of fights as the American. This could prove to be a decisive factor in the fight, unless the Bronze Bomber’s raw power helps him overcome any ring rust concerns.

As both of them are known for their intense knockout abilities, we don’t believe the fight will go the distance. 

Deontay Wilder: Improve Timing and Wear Out Zhang 

Wilder's reputation as a knockout specialist is well-established, with 42 of his 43 wins coming inside the distance.

That said, he has been a shadow of himself inside the ring lately. He struggled to unleash his signature weapon in his loss to Parker. The American's timing appeared off the mark throughout the fight, raising questions about whether his peak years are behind him.

To get the better of Zhang, Wilder needs to improve the timing of his punches. He is three years younger than Zhang, which should give him better durability. Tiring out his man is the best tactic here.

Zhilei Zhang: Get It Done ASAP 

Zhang has a proven track record against big punchers. So, he has enough reason to feel confident ahead of the fight. He is a fierce puncher himself. 

Most recently, Zhang showcased his devastating punching power with consecutive stoppage victories over Joe Joyce. Even in his defeats, he's managed to trouble opponents. The 41-year-old sent Parker to the canvas twice and even floored the previously undefeated Filip Hrgovic. However, both fights resulted in defeats against technically more proficient boxers. 

He needs to utilise the early windows of opportunity and land some severe blows. Wilder’s defence has been fragile lately, so Zhang should be able to wrap up the fight soon. The more the fight drags on, the more difficult it will become for Zhang to exert his dominance.

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