Promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t believe Deontay Wilder is the same fighter who held the WBC heavyweight title from 2015 to 2020.

Wilder was stopped for the third time in his career on Saturday night at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Zhilei Zhang, who outweighed Wilder by 70 pounds, knocked him out in the fifth round. The win marked a clean sweep for Queensberry Promotions over Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in the 5 vs 5 event.

After the fight, Wilder (43-4-1, 42 KOs) appeared frustrated and objected to the stoppage despite being floored heavily and on unsteady legs. Zhang (27-2-1, 22 KOs) celebrated one of his biggest wins at the age of 41. Hearn, meanwhile, gave his honest thoughts on the man he entrusted to be the team captain for Matchroom Boxing.

“Just not the same in all honesty,” Hearn told Fight Hub TV about the 38-year-old Wilder’s performance. “I just feel his belief is not there anymore, and you’ve got to ask yourself why? Is it just the time, is something else not right?

“He is not letting his hands go, and that is what made him one of the most feared fighters in the world,” Hearn said.

Wilder has now lost four of his last five fights. His lone win came against Robert Helenius in October 2022. He lost his world title to Tyson Fury in 2020 after being stopped in seven rounds, and 20 months later, Fury repeated the victory in 11. Wilder rebounded against Helenius but ended his 14-month hiatus last year with a unanimous decision loss to former titleholder Joseph Parker. His latest setback marks a troubling trend, suggesting Wilder might be near retirement.

“He is not the fighter he was, at the moment,” Hearn said. “People come back, but it is deep in the road.”