June 2, 2024

Anthony Joshua wasn’t particularly concerned about Deontay Wilder after watching him get flatlined by Zhilei Zhang on Saturday night.

Wilder looked timid and gun-shy as he was knocked out by Zhang in the fifth round of a do-or-die fight that left the American’s future in doubt.

Anthony Joshua watched on from ringside as Deontay Wilder was KO'd by Zhilei Zhang

Anthony Joshua watched on from ringside as Deontay Wilder was KO’d by Zhilei ZhangCredit: X – Matchroom Boxing

‘The Bronze Bomber’ spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes and didn’t give Zhang much to think about in the way of offence until the fifth round when he came out looking to roll the dice.

Unfortunately for him, he was knocked out by a pair of lead hooks for his efforts.

The WBC heavyweight champion was sent tumbling to the canvas in front of old rival Joshua, who was watching on with intrigue from ringside.

Before the fight Saudi boxing chief Turki Alalshikh had hinted at the possibility of Wilder being Joshua’s next opponent in September if he defeated Zhang.

Ringside footage shows Deontay Wilder struggling to regain his senses after brutal KO

Deontay Wilder trailed on talkSPORT scorecard before devastating Zhilei Zhang KO

However, ‘Big Bang’ appears to have sunk Joshua’s plans and is now in the running alongside Daniel Dubois to box the Watford powerhouse next.

Asked by DAZN whether it was disappointing to see Wilder lose the way he did, Joshua replied: “Nah, it is what it is.”

He may not have been sympathetic about the stoppage but he remained open-minded about the Alabama puncher’s future.

“Come again if you want, but he’s got his family and there’s a life outside of boxing for him,” he added.

Wilder was caught by a lead hook in the fifth round which he couldn't recover from

Wilder was caught by a lead hook in the fifth round which he couldn’t recover fromCredit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

“I enjoy fighting in London, I enjoy fighting out here [Saudi Arabia], I enjoy fighting in America.

“It’s a blessing, and it doesn’t last forever. That’s why I say it with Wilder if he wants to go again, give it another crack.

“But sooner or later, Father Time will catch up with you – with everyone.”

It appears Dubois is the frontrunner to box Joshua next.

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The Brit stopped Filip Hrgovic on cuts in the eighth round of a fight that saw Dubois come through early adversity to batter the Croatian from pillar to post.

He picked up the IBF interim trinket in the process and could be upgraded to full champion in the coming weeks providing the major sanctioning body strip Oleksandr Usyk as expected.

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