Heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang is targeting world titles and a showdown with Anthony Joshua after knocking out Deontay Wilder in five rounds in Saudi Arabia.

Zhang, 27-2-1 (22 KOs), dominated the curtain closer of the 5 vs 5 event to leave Wilder’s career in tatters. Zhang’s victory, the most noteworthy of his career, comes just three months after he was upset by Joseph Parker and puts him back in the title picture.

“Losing to Joseph Parker was silly,” Zhang said. “I highly underestimated him and I learned a lot from underestimating him and the fight. I know now what I can do.”

Zhang was respectful of Wilder’s esteemed power in the early going but with the former WBC heavyweight champion, himself a loser to Parker last year, seemingly unable to pull the trigger the Chinese southpaw stepped on the gas.

A right hand seemed to hurt Wilder in round five, making him turn around unsteadily and smile in mock amusement. Zhang then hurled another right that sent Wilder down heavily.

“After I landed the [first] shot I think he’s off-balance but he’s also hurt. Then I landed one more shot and that was it,” the victor said before commenting on the stoppage which came with Wilder back on his feet.

“The referee is the man who is in charge of the fight so we [as fighters] have to listen to him,” Zhang said of Wilder’s unjust complaints about the finish. “He stopped the fight for a good reason. If he did not [stop the fight] I would have got up and let my bombs go and that won’t end well for him [Wilder].”

How it all ends for Zhang, now 41 years old, remains to be seen. The rematch with Parker – which was part of their initial contract – is still in his sights but he’s keen to weigh up his options. He said he wants a world title “this year or next year.”

“I believe the Parker rematch [will come next] but Joshua is always someone I want to fight.”