Chris Algieri’s School of Thought: Wilder should retire and leave Dubois to shoot with Joshua

I considered Zhilei Zhang to be the favorite against Deontay Wilder, but everything I saw when they fought tells me that Wilder should not fight again.

I already didn’t like what we saw from Wilder when he lost to Joseph Parker in December, or how he talked about retirement. Even at 38 years old, because he is one of the hardest-handed fighters we have ever seen, and because Zhang is a southpaw and therefore had the potential to open up with his right hand, there was a chance that Wilder would do what we had gotten used to. . But we’ve now seen eerily similar performances in back-to-back fights, and against very different fighters – any hope of him having any fight left in him is gone.

The time has come for him to retire, but there is so much money involved in the heavyweight division in 2024 that there is no guarantee he will do so. Before losing to Zhang, there was renewed interest in fighting Anthony Joshua, showing his enduring appeal. But while that appeal has been undermined again, he almost certainly will if he wants to fight again.

If he does, it won’t be against Joshua, a fight I wanted to see as recently as before Wilder-Parker. Before his trilogy with Tyson Fury became what it became, a fight between Wilder and Joshua was The Fight. It was the United States versus Great Britain; it was a clash of styles and personalities. It’s a real shame we never got to see it when we should have.

Fury’s fights were both epic and brutal, and he’s long been a small heavyweight taking blows from bigger opponents, so it’s no surprise that at 38 years old he has so little left. He used to be a soldier, a warrior and a marksman – a fighter who fought to take down opponents and who believed in himself and his power even when he lost rounds. Against Parker and Zhang, that ‘bomb squad’ mentality seemed to have disappeared.

At his peak, he was as exciting as they came. He won an Olympic bronze medal with minimal amateur experience, then turned professional and produced one highlight-reel knockout after another. He’s one of the best single-punch heavyweights we’ve ever seen; he was also involved in one of the best trilogies, and more importantly, he revitalized the heavyweight division in America. Wilder is destined to be remembered alongside Fury and Joshua as one of three figures who did so much to define the great era of heavyweight boxing that followed that of the Klitschkos.

I wouldn’t have made Daniel Dubois the favorite against Filip Hrgovic. Seeing him win was a pleasant surprise.

When he beat Jarrell Miller in December, I realized how powerful a punch he could hit with both hands, and combining that with his win over Hrgovic made me reconsider his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in the summer of 2023.

At the age of 26, Dubois lost to then-undefeated Joe Joyce after suffering a broken eye socket – which I know from experience is a terrible, terrible injury, and something he didn’t deserve to be accused of to stop it. He has also lost to the brilliant Usyk, after boxing well with him in the early rounds, and responded by beating Miller when Miller tried to bully him prior to the fight.

Hrgovic tried to do the same and was punished early with big right hands. Dubois showed impressive punch resistance and desire, eventually breaking Hrgovic, who was injured, bleeding and tired. It was Dubois, not Hrgovic, who emerged as the new heavyweight player. In 2024, Dubois is very dangerous.

When he first came forward we were told of his considerable potential, and after a testing period he has gathered the necessary experience and maturity to realize this. He has long been physically impressive and can hit well with both hands, and he has become strong both mentally and physically. During his three fights with his trainer Don Charles – the first was against Usyk – he has almost become a new fighter. In retrospect, instead of being seen as someone who fell apart against Usyk, he deserves the patience to be seen as a young fighter who shared the ring with someone as tactically astute and capable of taking down opponents as Usyk is – as Usyk is more. recently proven again against Fury.

Until recently, a fight between Dubois and Joshua seemed like it would make no sense, but it has suddenly become a potentially great fight. At Wembley Stadium, in front of a crowd of 90,000, Dubois’ strength and durability make him a very attractive opponent for Joshua. These traits have troubled Joshua before, such as the night he fought Andy Ruiz for the first time. Joshua-Dubois is a real fight.