Home Boxing News Deontay Wilder’s parents offer conflicting advice on his career in wake of...

Deontay Wilder’s parents offer conflicting advice on his career in wake of latest knockout loss

Deontay Wilder and trainer Malik Scott. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 43-4-1 (42) has a big decision in front of him.

Last Saturday night the 38-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama suffered his fourth defeat in his past five outings – including three by knockout – when he was stopped in five frames by Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang 27-2-1 (22) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The fight was as one-sided as it was brutal. Wilder was in trouble as early as the second round and couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on his big punches that have knocked out all but one opponent in his victories.

Zhang, 41, was able to land at will. In the fifth round he landed a right hook that spun Wilder around 360 degrees. Wilder appeared to appeal to referee Kieran McCann for help. No foul had occurred and the action continued. The next punch, another right hook from Zhang, sent Wilder crashing heavily to the canvas.

He beat the count. Just. But he was in no condition to continue.

Referee McCann waved off the bout at the 1:51 mark.

Consensus opinion is that Wilder should retire after a successful career that saw him reign as WBC champ for five years between 2015 and 2020, making 10 defences of the green belt.

But his father disagrees.

Gary Wilder believes his son needs to sack his trainer Malik Scott, a former opponent who later took on the coaching duties in 2021 from longtime cornerman Mark Breland.

In that time Wilder has gone 1-3 and has been knocked out twice.

“You need somebody you’re going to respect,’’ Wilder Sr told USA Today. “You don’t need a buddy to train you.

“It’s not too late for him. I believe he got several good years left.

“Deontay’s always been a slugger. Now Malik’s trying to train him to be a boxer and if you look at it, you’ll see that Deontay is not comfortable where he at. As long as he tries to be a boxer, he’s not going to win.

“That’s the bottom line.’’

In his first fight under Malik, Wilder was knocked down three times by Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) in their trilogy bout en route to being stopped in the penultimate round. An opening round blowout of limited Finnish boxer Robert Helenius 32-5 (21) followed, before he was on the wrong end of a virtual shutout at the hands of New Zealand’s Joseph Parker 35-3 (23).

Zhang’s savage knockout of Wilder appeared to put the final nail in his career.

His mother Deborah Wilder would like to see him walk away from the sport with his head held up high.

“I texted him and said, ‘Son, we’re having a party for you. You gave us the best boxing in USA when boxing was dead. You’ve gotten older. You’ve ran your course in your journey. It’s now time to celebrate’,” she told USA Today.

“He brought back boxing to the USA, and we enjoyed all those knockouts.

“I taped them and I’m going to look back at them. We are going to laugh, we are going to cry. But we gonna be happy.

“Enjoy your life now. Teach other young men how to become a champion.”