Deontay Wilder vs. Zhilei Zhang in works for Bivol-Beterbiev card

Deontay Wilder vs. Zhilei Zhang in works for Bivol-Beterbiev card

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The new capital of heavyweight boxing is about to deliver two more fights featuring prominent big men.

ESPN is reporting that former heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang are nearing a deal to fight one another on the Dmitry Bivol-Artur Beterbiev card June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Also, heavyweight contenders Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois are close to an agreement to meet on the same show.

Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) will be trying to reestablish himself as a top heavyweight after losing three of his last four fights, two knockouts against Tyson Fury in 2020 and 2021 and a one-sided decision against Joseph Parker in December.

The 38-year-old American’s only victory since 2019 was a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius in 2022.

Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs) built considerable momentum by stopping Joe Joyce twice last year but the 40-year-old from China crashed back to earth against Parker in March, losing a majority decision even though he decked Parker twice.

Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) is a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Croatia. His biggest victory was a unanimous decision over Zhang in 2022.

Dubois (20-2, 19 KOs) nearly pulled off a huge upset when he floored titleholder Oleksandr Usyk with a body shot in August. However, the punch was ruled a low blow, Usyk was given time to recover and the champ stopped Dubois in the ninth round.

Dubois bounced back by stopping Jarrell Miller in the 10th round in December.

Bivol vs. Beterbiev, for the undisputed 175-pound championship, is one of the most anticipated fights in the sport.

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) is best known for defeating Canelo Alvarez in 2022 but he has a long track record of dominating top contenders. Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) also has overwhelmed opponents, none of whom have reached the final bell.

 

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