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Deontay Wilder says he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future.

The American heavyweight faces Zhilei Zhang on 1 June, six months on from his shock defeat by Joseph Parker.

The loss to Parker derailed a planned fight against Joshua, but Wilder says the long-awaited bout can still happen.

“People are always going to want to see that fight no matter what,” Wilder told BBC Sport. “I put it in the high 90s [percentage chance of happening].”

Joshua and Wilder both fought on the same night last December, with a view to meeting in April 2024, but the Briton was forced to fomer UFC champion Francis Ngannou instead after Wilder’s defeat.

Wilder, 38, says the loss was in part down to his 14 months of inactivity leading up to the Parker fight, but said a big win will resurrect interest in the contest.

“I always said it before, it’ll be a shame if we never fought,” Wilder said of Joshua.

“It only takes that one fight, that one night. June 1st is going to be that night, that one fight.

“Deontay Wilder knocks [Zhang’s] head off and the world goes crazy.

“And there we go again, Wilder versus Joshua. They want it [again].”

‘The monster wasn’t there’

Wilder will fight Zhang as part of the five-versus-five Matchroom Promotions v Queensberry Promotions card on 1 June in Saudi Arabia.

The heavyweight contest was the surprise addition as Wilder signed a one-fight deal with Matchroom to be part of the event.

Zhang, 40, also comes into the fight off the back of a defeat by Parker, and both men would face an uphill battle to a world title shot with another loss.

Wilder said he lost his “desire and hunger” going into his fight with Parker, saying his “body wasn’t responding like my mind”.

“That monster wasn’t there no more,” Wilder said.

“It was one of those boring fights where if anyone did any type of action they won.

“That’s how I look at that fight. Joseph Parker is definitely not better than Deontay Wilder, at all. He was just the better man on the night.”

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