Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions Goes 5-0 at Kingdom Arena. Ball, Bivol, Dubois, Hutchinson and Sheeraz Win, Big Bang Zhilei Zhang Drops Wilder. 

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

*Photo Credit: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (June 2nd, 2024)– In the main event of an exciting six bout card labeled ‘5 versus 5’, pitting five Frank Warren and his Queensberry Promotions fighters against five of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing fighters, at Kingdom Arena, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, also featuring Eddie Hearn fighter Dmitriy Bivol against last minute substitute Malik Zinad on the card, heavyweight contender ‘Big Bang’ Zhilei Zhang banged out ex-WBC world champion Deontay Wilder, dropping and stopped him at 1:51 of the fifth round, ending his career, on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

 Zhang, 26-2-1 with 21 knockouts, Bloomfield, New Jersey, loaded up on the left hand in the southpaw stance, at 282 ¾ pounds outweighing the smaller frame 214 ½ pounds Wilder, 43-3-1 with 42 knockouts, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by nearly 70 pounds. Zhang and Wilder loaded up for the ultimate power shot. Zhang landed more punches while Wilder pawed. Zhang continued to fearlessly move forward cutting off the ring, keeping Wilder back peddling trying to fight off the back foot close to the ropes at all times. Wilder’s face and eyes looked like Muhammad Ali’s face against Larry Holmes, defensive guard up but looking like a frightened rabbit in over his head.

 In round five, the curious cautious dance ended as strangely as it began. Wilder loaded up on a right which missed. Wilder loaded up on a right again which missed, as Zhang countered perfectly with a right hook to the head which got to Wilder first with his guard down.  Wilder spun around with his back turned, only to turn around with his hands down and get nailed by another Zhang right which sent Wilder down to the canvas. Wilder was up at eight in a corner, wobbling forward like Zab Judah doing the chicken dance, forcing referee Keeran McCann to stop the bout.

 Wilder has never been the same since leaving trainer Mark Breland. Wilder had a gap of 18 months, 12 months, 14 months and then six months in his last four bouts with Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius, Joseph Parker and Zhang. Inactivity leads to laziness, complacency, and a lack of hunger. Like Ali against Holmes, Wilder looked muscular coming into the ring, but was like a Rolex watch with the guts missing, a frightened old rabbit looking for a way out, an over the hill Joe Louis with a left hand which didn’t work anymore against Rocky Marciano. Louis lasted eight rounds with Marciano before he went. Wilder lasted five rounds with Zhang. Like James Jeffries with Jack Johnson, Wilder looked exactly like what he was,an old man whose skills were memories. Against a fearless technical boxer like Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk, Wilder would have looked like a fool. Zhang spared us the possibility. Zhang was busier and had good head movement. Wilder pawed with his famed left hand, but the power shot was not there. Against Joseph Parker, Wilder’s timing was gone and he missed a lot. Against Zhang, Wild looked like a frightened rabbit in a dark alley.

 Result: Zhilei Zhang TKO 5 Deontay Wilder, Heavyweights (1:51)

Wilder down in fifth round for an eight count. Referee: Keeran McCann

 Former World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has the choice of fighting Zhang or Daniel Dubois next. Dubois cut opponent Filip Hrgovic to pieces, leaving bloody cuts about Hrgovic’s left and right eyes until the ringside doctor stopped the bloody bloodfest in the eighth round and gave Dubois the win. Hrgovic started strongly, but later got hit by Dubois too much. The conclusion was Dubois did the harder training work which Hrgovic did not.

 5 versus 5 Kingdom Arena Riyadh Undercard Results

Promoter Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions wins 5 versus 5 tournament, and three million dollar Saudi bonus

 Nick Ball Win Split Decision 12 Raymond Ford, Featherweights

Ball wins World Boxing Association World Featherweight title

 Daniel Dubois TKO 8 Filip Hrgovic, Heavyweights

Dubois wins interim International Boxing Federation World Heavyweight title

Hrgovic bleeding from cuts above left and right eyebrow. Ringside doctor’s stoppage.

 Hamzah Sheeraz TKO 11 Austin Williams, Middleweights

20-0 United Kingdom Middleweight Sheeraz rises to fourth in world in BoxRec ratings

 Dmitriy Bivol TKO 6 Malik Zinad, Light Heavyweights

Bivol retains WBA and IBO World Light Heavyweight titles.       

Zinad was a late substitute for injured WBC-WBO-IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev.

 Willy Hutchinson Win 12 Craig Richards, Light Heavyweights

Hutchinson wins vacant World Boxing Council Silver Light Heavyweight title