April 16 2024

Blockbuster 5v5 event will take place on Beterbiev-Bivol undercard

London, 15 April, 2024: His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), today announced the selected fighters who will compete on behalf of long-standing promotional rivals Queensberry and Matchroom in the history-making 5 vs 5 collision set to take place in Riyadh on June 1.

The 5 vs 5, which has created intense speculation and interest across the boxing world, features as part of a blockbuster card headlined by one of the finest fights that can be made in the sport, the Undisputed championship of the world match between light heavyweight greats Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol that will take place at the Kingdom Arena. The undisputed 175-pound showdown will be presented in association with Top Rank.

In anticipation of the shootout between the two promotional giants, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh stated: “The Five vs Five match is one of the standout events on Riyadh’s calendar this year. It will feature 10 exciting fighters from Queensberry and Matchroom. The Riyadh calendar looks forward to hosting more major events and establishing partnerships that promise unprecedented entertainment for the audience.”

Frank Warren, the Hall of Fame promoter and chairman of Queensberry, added: “The night of June 1 will mark a thrilling and spectacular return to Riyadh, where the pride and reputation of two companies will be at stake in the 5 vs 5 concept that neither promoter dares to contemplate losing! Thanks to the vision of H.E. Turki Alalshikh we can now look forward to unprecedented events such as this on a regular basis and nights at the Kingdom Arena are now an established and welcome fixture in the world boxing diary. Our five selected champions are ready to rule in Riyadh.”

Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, said: “The best Sport stems from the greatest rivalries. And on June 1, I am confident Matchroom will reign supreme over Queensberry. I have assembled a team of elite world beaters who are ready to do the business. Losing isn’t an option. With the brilliant Dmitry Bivol challenging for the undisputed light-heavyweight championship, this is without doubt one of the best boxing cards of all-time – and we’ve already seen a few contenders in Riyadh, all thanks to the outstanding vision of His Excellency Turki Alalshikh. I’m sure this unprecedented five-versus-five will be the first of many duels with Frank Warren and his team – and may the best man win!”

The current WBA world light heavyweight champion, the slick and stylish Bivol, 33, holds a record of 22-0 (11 KOs) and has successfully defended his title on 10 occasions over the last six years. Wrecking machine Beterbiev, 39, is the WBC, IBF and WBO world champion and has secured all of his 20 professional victories via knockout.

The nominated fighters for the groundbreaking 5 vs 5, revealed today at a pre-event media conference at London’s Outernet, are headlined by the heavyweights.

Frank Warren and Queensberry have selected heavyweight force of nature Daniel Dubois (20-2, 19 KOs), the young UK powerhouse who was a recent challenger to unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, to go up against IBF No.1 contender Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) on behalf on Matchroom in a battle to determine who will be first in line to fight for the IBF World Heavyweight title later this year.

These Next Generation heavyweights will also be battling to determine just who will represent the future of the sports marquee division.
Chinese giant “Big Bang” Zhilei Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KOs) has been chosen to represent Queensberry in the second heavyweight encounter. The 40-year-old southpaw takes on Matchroom pick and former WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs), the Bronze Bomber who made 10 successful defences of the title he won by defeating Bermane Stiverne in 2015. The man from Alabama, with the trademark ‘Bomb Squad’ chant, has executed a chilling 42 KOs from his 43 wins.

At featherweight, in what many predict will be a ‘fight of the year’ contender, and arguably should have been a world title unification, Queensberry’s Nick Ball, (19-0-1, 11 KOs), and Matchroom’s American world champion Ray Ford, (15-0-1, 8 KOs), compete for the WBA World Featherweight championship recently won by Ford in spectacular fashion against Otabek Kholmatov via a stoppage with just seven seconds of the 12 rounds remaining.

In March in Riyadh, ferocious Liverpool firebrand Ball, was hugely unfortunate not to have won the WBC world title following his fight against two-weight world champion Rey Vargas from Mexico. Ball dominated much of the fight and knocked the Mexican down twice, but the judges returned cards declaring a split draw.

A classic middleweight encounter will be guaranteed when Queensberry’s undefeated Hamzah Sheeraz, the WBC Silver and Commonwealth champion with a record of 19-0 (15 KOs), trades blows with Matchroom’s USA product Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, who has impressively assembled a record of 16-0 (11 KOs) and won the IBF North American title in 2023. A huge prize is on the line in the fight with the fight being recognised as a Final Eliminator for the WBC World Middleweight title. Sheeraz is also rated as the No.1 contender with the WBO so a World title opportunity beckons for the winner. Sheeraz, at just 24, is on a run of 13 straight stoppages, the longest consecutive KO streak currently in British boxing.

In the final fight, Queensberry light heavyweight and former World Amateur champion Willy Hutchinson (17-1, 13 KOs), one of the brightest talents in British boxing and the current WBC International champion, will face Matchroom’s former British champion and WBA world title challenger Craig ‘Spider’ Richards (18-3-1, 11 KOs).