By Oscar Pick

CAPTAINS Deontay Wilder and Hamzah Sheeraz are hoping to lead their teams to victory when Matchroom and Queensberry fighters collide on the 5v5 card this Saturday.

While the role of a captain traditionally holds more weight in other sports, GEA Chairman Turki Alalshikh has introduced leadership as a new element to boxing.

Ten fighters from Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren’s stables will be pitted against each other for the next Riyadh Season extravaganza in Saudi Arabia.

But, in a sport where success is largely measured by individual prowess, how great of an impact will Wilder and Sheeraz have on their teammates?

Well, there is every chance that their performances in the ring will decide which team comes out on top.

With their score total doubled, a potential four points is up for grabs if either skipper scores a stoppage win over their respective opponent.

Away from the collection of points, though, it is perhaps worth considering the influence that their contrasting personalities will have.

Deontay Wilder

Al Bello/Getty Images

Wilder possesses all the qualities of a charismatic leader; someone who, as a strong, captivating communicator, has a tendency to command respect in nearly every environment.

His booming screams of “BOMB SQUAD” can be heard throughout any building, no matter its shape or size, with his words reverberating down corridors, up flights of stairs and, to a more deafening degree, within the room they came from.

For a short while, however, this person went missing. The 38-year-old took everyone by surprise with an uncharacteristically relaxed approach to his last outing against Joseph Parker.

This peaceful version of the once fearsome ‘Bronze Bomber’ was difficult to accept, but it all suddenly made sense when, prior to his punishing defeat to the New Zealander, Wilder revealed that he had taken Ayahuasca – a psychedelic drug – at a retreat in Costa Rica during his lay-off.

Now, with his boisterous demeanour seemingly restored, the former world heavyweight champion looks to get back to winning ways when he takes on Zhilei Zhang, who also comes off a defeat to Parker.

In the days leading up to fight night, if Wilder can radiate the same energy that he has utilised throughout his career, then, at an elite level in sport, where margins are fine, it might just be enough to give Team Matchroom the edge.

After all, who wouldn’t want to go out there and starch their opponent after hearing “Bomb Squad” every five minutes?

Hamzah Sheeraz. (Photo by James Fearn/Getty Images)

The complete opposite, almost, could be said for Sheeraz. Representing Team Queensberry, the undefeated middleweight has been gearing towards greatness since his professional debut.

His composure, coupled with a ruthless killer instinct, compliments his style outside of the ring, too. While he may never be the loudest in the room, Sheeraz is, at the age of 25, beyond his years when it comes to the level of confidence he has nurtured.

Many expected Warren to announce a more senior member of his team, such as Zhang, as the captain of Queensberry. But, with Sheeraz, the Hall of Fame promoter has someone who can lead by example – a fighter with no blemish on his record.

Sheeraz will take on unbeaten American Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams in a mouthwatering showdown between two immensely talented operators. For either man, a stoppage would be mightily impressive but, ultimately, securing the win is of far greater importance than earning points for their teams.

Like Wilder, Sheeraz may look to implement his own leadership stance in the build-up to Saturday. His teammates might even benefit from the coolness that he will inevitably display throughout fight week.

While, in reality, these differences between both captains may have no bearing on the result of each fight, the battle between Matchroom and Queensberry, enhanced by two opposing attitudes, could be defined by a clash of fire and ice.