Deontay Wilder’s mother pleads with son to retire from boxing after Zhilei Zhang defeat

Deontay Wilder
Wilder is facing calls to hang up his gloves (Picture: Getty)

Deontay Wilder’s mother has urged her son to retire from boxing following his devastating defeat to Zhilei Zhang.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ needed a win to revive his heavyweight title hopes on Saturday night but they were left in tatters after being knocked in the fifth round on the Matchroom vs Queensberry card.

It was Wilder’s second defeat in the space of six months having been outboxed by Joseph Parker in December – a defeat that dashed hopes of a long-awaited showdown with Anthony Joshua.

The 38-year-old has now lost four of his last five fights – three of those via knockout – with just one win to his name since the start of 2020.

Having looked a shadow of his former fearsome self against Parker and Zhang, Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel suggested the former champion is mulling over whether to retire or not.

But his mother, Deborah Wilder, believes now is the time for her son to hang the gloves up and perhaps begin coaching the next generation of talent.

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

Deontay Wilder
Zhang left Wilder in a heap (Picture: Robinson/Matchroom Boxing/Getty Images)

‘It’s time to celebrate.’

She added: ‘Enjoy your life now. Teach other young men how to become a champion.’

Wilder, who reigned as WBC champion from 2015 before being dethroned by Tyson Fury in 2020, did not address the media as he left the ring on Saturday night.

Former undisputed champion Lennox Lewis has also urged him to retire from boxing and enjoy his life away from the sport.

‘The Bronze Bomber told us before the fight that he would retire he didn’t win. I think that is a wise decision,’ Lewis wrote on X.

‘He has more than carved out a life in which he can take care of his daughter, so before he suffers any more damage, it is best to leave the game with your faculties intact because there’s a LOT more life to live after boxing.’

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