ONE of the most enticing qualities about Saturday night’s Queensberry vs. Matchroom 5 v 5 event is the matchups it has produced.

Promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn were asked to pick two weight classes apiece for the unique event, with Turki Alalshikh—the man responsible for ending British boxing’s Cold War—picking a fifth. With Warren and Hearn now on speaking terms and working together, the fights have been made, and there is a lot to look forward to.

This weekend, Deontay Wilder, Daniel Dubois, Austin “Ammo” Williams, Nick Ball and Willy Hutchinson are favoured to lose against Zhilei Zhang, Filip Hrgovic, Hamzah Sheeraz, Raymond Ford and Craig Richards, respectively.

But will they? Boxing News assesses what chances the five underdogs have of winning in Riyadh.

DEONTAY WILDER vs. Zhilei Zhang (Heavyweight)

Some may be surprised that Wilder (13/10) is not the favourite in this heavyweight contest given his pedigree, but such was his dire performance against Joseph Parker last time, it’s perhaps a shock his odds aren’t longer. ‘The Bronze Bomber’, once the most devastating puncher of this era, was made to look every bit as ordinary and one-dimensional as many believed he was without his equalizer.

That being said, Wilder is promising a “revealing” next time of the aggression that went missing against the tactically astute Parker. Zhang (8/13) might not be as light on his feet as the New Zealander but possesses bludgeoning power to end Wilder and possibly his career once and for all.

Verdict: Wilder’s showing against Parker was concerning. But against a hittable target like Zhang, there is every possibility that the former WBC champion could recapture his spark.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 15: Zhilei Zhang faces off with Deontay Wilder during the 5v5 press conference ahead of their fight in the Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrill Bivol WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO Light Heavyweight fight at Outernet London on April 15, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images).

DANIEL DUBOIS vs. Filip Hrgovic (Heavyweight)

The up-and-down career of Dubois continues as ‘Dynamite’ is now one win away from another world title shot. Before being stopped, the Londoner offered all he could against heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk nine months ago. Against Jarrell Miller in December, Dubois was more at home against an in-your-face heavy whose strongest attribute was work-rate.

Dubois met him head-on and stopped the American in the final round. Hrgovic, the current IBF mandatory challenger, is a different prospect but one who blows hot and cold. The Croat (4/9) is expected to be too well-schooled for the Brit (7/4) but the performance against Miller was a real confidence booster.

Verdict: It may well depend on which Hrgovic turns up. Dubois has more than a puncher’s chance but a strong start is needed from the 26-year-old.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 23: Daniel Dubois looks on during the Heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois and Jarrell Miller during the Day of Reckoning: Fight Night at Kingdom Arena on December 23, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images).

AUSTIN “AMMO” WILLIAMS vs. Hamzah Sheeraz (Middleweight)

Since signing him to Matchroom over five years ago, Williams’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, has always held high hopes for the Texan. The 28-year-old’s progression has been solid but not spectacular, and against Sheeraz, he faces one of Britain’s most exciting talents.

This highly anticipated middleweight contenders’ clash is the litmus test in both men’s careers. Williams (7/4) may be the type of fighter who needs someone as dangerous as Sheeraz (4/9) to bring out the best in him. The American does most things well but lacks the same constant threat Sheeraz carries throughout a fight.

Verdict: Something’s got to give in this one. Unbeaten records and reputations are on the line. Williams, like Dubois, must get to the second half of the fight to have a chance.

Austin Williams opens up on Kieron Conway in Las Vegas on September 17 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NICK BALL vs. Raymond Ford (Featherweight)

Ball was one scorecard away from becoming the WBC featherweight champion in March against Rey Vargas. Instead, the Scouser was awarded a split-draw for his efforts. This time, he faces WBA titlist Raymond Ford, who produced a stunning finish to win the title against Otabek Kholmatov in March.

Next, Ball is faced with a tougher-looking gig. Ford has shown he carries power late, he can dig deep and stay in a fight from rounds one to 12. But has the New Jersey native stayed at 126lbs for too long? Ball (11/8) now knows he belongs at world level and must make Ford (4/7) uncomfortable from the outset to find out how tough getting down to championship weight has been for the title holder.

Verdict: Ball will feel a sense of injustice after fighting Vargas. Ford is a better fighter than the Mexican but there are questions over his weight and the quick turnaround after his battle with Kholmatov.

Nick Ball

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WILLY HUTCHINSON vs. Craig Richards (Light-heavyweight)

Hutchinson has long been regarded as a top talent but the wheels came off when he backed his own ability, despite his relative inexperience, against Lennox Clarke three years ago. The British title loss was a harsh lesson for the Scot who has won four on the spin against average opposition. Richards is tried and tested and looked better than ever against Boris Crighton in February with new trainer Shane McGuigan in his corner.

The heavy-handed Hutchinson will have to produce the performance Frank Warren has been waiting for against another experienced campaigner like Richards (8/11), whose defeats to Dmitry Bivol and Joshua Buatsi proved his world-class credentials. This is another leap of faith for Hutchinson (11/10).

Verdict: Hutchinson isn’t short of confidence and this fight will tell us how far he can go in the sport. Everything will have to come together against his toughest opponent to date.

Willy Hutchinson

OVERALL VERDICT: If any of the favourites lose, Zhang and Richards are the most likely to do so.