Deontay Wilder is ready to roll back the years and add Zhilei Zhang’s scalp to those of his previous 42 knockout victims.

They meet in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and the 37-year-old from Alabama is representing Matchroom’s team as the captain, adding importance to what is, regardless, a make-or-break fight for the veteran heavyweight.

A points loss to Joseph Parker in December had many questioning Wilder’s commitment to the sport and his future, but he says he will show he is back to his best against Zhang.

“I’m very confident in what I’ve been stating,” Wilder said at the final press conference in Riyadh. “I’m very excited to be working alongside Eddie, we haven’t had the best of relationships in the past, but the thing about time is time brings about changes and I’ve been a part of changes. At this period in time, we’re like a warrior’s drum, with one beat and one sound, and on this left side [with his four teammates in the 5 x 5 event] you can feel this energy that we’re not playing no games. We come to win and we come to knock them out. The five on five, we’re going on a five-man sweep and I’m looking forward to Saturday night.”

Wilder is 43-3-1 (42 KOs) and is tentatively booked to face Jared Anderson in Los Angeles on August 3. But he is first charged with leading his team to victory on Saturday.

“I’m feeling great about being the captain,” Wilder added. “They could have chosen anyone of these guys to be the captain, but he chose me and it’s a great responsibility and a responsibility I accepted with open arms and I’m looking forward to proving that I’ve still got what it takes. 

“I’ve still got the juice, and I’m going to deliver on Saturday night. I’m going to be like Ali and Liston, I’m going to stand over his body like Ali did Liston’s in ’65. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait. I must deliver. It’s do or die. I’ve got a warrior mentality. I’ve got a warrior mindset and a warrior heart and I’ll die for what I believe in. 

“I’m willing to die in the ring for what I believe in and if a man ain’t willing to step in and die like me he better step out of that bitch, because I’m ready.”