Deontay Wilder says he gets the “chills” when promoter Eddie Hearn hypes him up and believes in him ahead of his contest against Zhilei Zhang this Saturday night in the 5 vs 5 event in Riyadh.

With the repeated failure the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) has experienced lately, it’s motivating for him to have Hearn believe in him and boost him ahead of a very risky fight against ‘Big Bang’ Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs).

A lot of people have given up on the 38-year-old Wilder after his three defeats since 2020, but Hearn believed in him enough to make him the Matchroom Boxing Team captain.

If Hearn’s endorsement of Wildre can lead him to victory, he’s the opportunity for some bigger fights. Maybe not the match he dreamed of against Anthony Joshua, but somebody interesting.

The Thrill of Hearn’s Promotion

“I already thought Eddie [Hearn] wanted to promote me. I’m a promoter’s dream. The things I’m capable of doing. The hardest puncher in boxing history,” said Deontay Wilder to the Title Sports Network, talking about promoter Eddie Hearn.

“To see him boost me up, big me up, it gives me chills because he is a talker. He can big his fighters up, and to see him talk about me, it makes me excited. It makes me want to complete the mission, complete the task, and get the job done,” said Wilder.

Hearn realizes that he’s got to motivate Wilder and make him believe in himself again after his two defeats against Tyson Fury and his recent loss to Joseph Parker. Wilder was given a bad deal in his first and third fights against Fury and arguably won both, but the referees arguably saved the popular Gypsy King, just like we saw recently.

“I think we’re going to go five sweep and get them all out of there. That’s another thing as well. I smile at that,” said Wilder about Hearn making him the Team captain.

It’s unlikely that the Matchroom team will sweep the competition, as Queensberry has some excellent fighters who have a great chance of winning some, if not all, of the five contests on the card. I wouldn’t be surprised if Queensberry goes 5-0, and it might come down to Deontay to keep them from sweeping the competition.

Hearn’s Confidence in Wilder

“You know why? Because he’s the fighter on the card with the highest profile. He’s the most popular fighter,” said Eddie Hearn, explaining why he chose him as the Team Captain. “He’s the fighter that has achieved the most in the sport. He’s one of the most exciting fighters on the planet.”

Hearn is upfront here by saying that Wilder is the “most popular” fighter on the Matchroom team, but there is a lot of fighters that he has who aren’t household names. Wilder has been around for a long time and is the team’s elder statesman. He’s the oldest member on the team, and has accomplished more than any of them.

“More importantly than that. He’s one of the most feared fighters of all. You want your guy going last,” said Hearn about Wilder. “We may need to come from behind. We may need Deontay to win by knockout. I can sit there and go, ‘Go on, my man, and rack up those four points.’”

If Wilder throws his right hand with full power and lands flush on Zhang, he’s likely going to knock him out. But he needs the confidence to throw his punches because he looks afraid in several fights.

“That’s why I did it because other guys, younger guys, more experienced guys, and this guy has been around. He can hold his composure. Zhilei Zhang said some bad things tonight. So, we’re going to f*** him up on Saturday night,” said Hearn.

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