Promoter Eddie Hearn was in shock after watching his hapless Matchroom team get swept ten nill by Queensberry in the 5 vs. 5 tourney last Saturday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Hearn thought he had picked a solid team, but in hindsight, the five guys from his Matchroom team were no match for Frank Warren’s Queensberry squad, who blitzed them.

The five fights:

– Zhilie Zhang TKO 5 Deontay Wilder
– Daniel Dubois TKO 8 Filip Hrgovic
– Hamzah Sheeraz TKO 11 Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams
– Nick Ball SD 12 Raymond Ford
– Willy Hutchinson UD 12 Craig Richards

Hearn hopes to get a rematch in the next 5 vs. 5 competition, and that’s in the planning stage. Hopefully, Hearn picks a better team the next time around because his guys were easy marks last Saturday.

The Rematch is Already in the Works

“Five nil sounds better than ten nil. We got a spanking. It was a great night. A great night of fights,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about his Matchroom team getting swept by Queensberry in the 5 vs. 5 event last Saturday night in Riyadh.

“I hated the results. I’m absolutely gutted. Dust yourself off and get ready for the rematch, which is being planned right now. We shall get revenge. All night, we were clutching at straws, and it got worse and worse. Once Hrgovic lost, it was a disaster.”

Heavyweight Filip Hrgovic was thought to be a rock solid fighter on Hearn’s Matchroom team, the one guy that was viewed as sure winner, but he gassed out and fell apart after the fourth round against Dubois. Hrgovic was Hearn’s stonewall, but he was a different fighter once he was cut over both eyes.

“I thought the [Raymond] Ford could have gone our way. It wouldn’t have changed the result,” said Hearn. “It might have changed the momentum, but no, it was a straight sweep. Every fight was competitive, but unfortunately, the coin toss didn’t go our way.”

I think putting Ford in against Nick Ball was a bad idea because the American had already admitted that he was having problems making the 126-lb weight.

Moreover, Ford was in a grueling fight last March against Otabek Kholmatov, and he got lucky to pull out a knockout in the final seconds of that contest because he was losing on two of the scorecards.

Ford (15-1-1, 8 KOs) suffered a bad cut and took a lot of punishment from Kholmatov, arguably the biggest puncher in the featherweight division.

A Winner’s Mentality

“Eddie is a winner. Eddie doesn’t like to lose. A draw isn’t a loss. We’ll always take a win. At that point, I was clutching at straws,” said Hearn. “Even after the Hrgovic fight, I was saying, ‘Deontay, just stop him, and it’s four points.’ 8-4 sounds so much better than ten nil.”

Hearn likely knew it was a long shot for Deontay Wilder to come out victorious against Zhang, so he was trying to inflate him in the weeks before the fight.

Many people believe the only reason Hearn chose Wilder is that he knew his name would attract more fans’ interest in purchasing the event on DAZN PPV. If Hearn wanted someone he felt could beat Zhang, he’d have used Anthony Joshua. Even using Joshua wouldn’t guarantee victory because he has a chin problem.

“What can you do but to take it on the chin? Congratulations, Queensberry, and on we go. He was screaming for his guys, and I was screaming for our guys,” said Hearn when asked what it was like sitting next to Frank Warren of Queensberry.

“The passion was through the roof. It would have been nice to get the win. I probably wouldn’t have been as humble in victory as he was. So thank you, Frank. I think there will be a couple of weeks of this before the next one.”

Hearn would have done some serious gloating if his Matchroom team had won, but he wouldn’t win with the crew he picked. This was the JV squad that Hearn threw against Queensberry, not the varsity team. You can’t win with second-stringers against the guys Warren had lined up for this event.

Joshua vs. Dubois and the Next 5 vs. 5

“Yeah, it’s a big possibility,” said Hearn about Anthony Joshua vs. Daniel Dubois a potential fight for September at Wembley. “I’m going to head towards His Excellency’s [office] and start planning that Wembley card and start talking that next 5 vs. 5.”

Hearn must think about this before matching Joshua against Dubois for September. He doesn’t have to do this. Hearn can save Joshua for the winner of the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2 rematch and play it safe. He’s already been burned once, with his team getting whitewashed, and he doesn’t need his cash cow, Joshua, beaten by Dubois and his brand tarnished.

“Obviously, the September card at Wembley will be headlined by Anthony Joshua. His Excellency wanted to look at the Wilder fight. That’s obviously out the window, but the Dubois fight could be there,” said Hearn.

If Hearn has already decided that Joshua will be fighting in September, he must match him against another soft opponent to ensure he doesn’t lose again. One of the fringe contenders in the division would be ideal for Joshua to fight. Dillian Whyte would be a good option for AJ or Dereck Chisora.

Since the fight will be in the UK, one of those two would be a good option. If not them, Frazer Clarke. I wouldn’t use Fabio Wardley or Moses Itauma because they hit too hard, and Joshua might fall apart.

Andy Ruiz Jr. would be a really good choice for September. A trilogy match between Joshua and Ruiz would work for Wembley.

“It could be an all-British fight for the world heavyweight title, which is definitely of interest to us. So, we’ll all talk, and there will be a press conference soon. The silver lining is Frank Smith will be serving tea to Queensberry in a French maid’s outfit. Ten nil, but at least we get to see that,” said Hearn.

YouTube video

Read the full article here