Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang: Fight time, undercard, odds, prediction, ring walks tonight

Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang clash tonight in the headline fight of the unique Matchroom vs Queensberry 5v5 boxing event in Saudi Arabia.

Saturday night’s highly-anticipated card sees both promotional companies put up five of their best fighters to go head to head in weight classes selected by bitter-rivals-turned-friends Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, who will hope to take bragging rights back to the UK, as well as Turki Alalshikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi.


Matchroom pulled off a huge shock by securing the services of Wilder for this event, the former long-reigning WBC heavyweight champion putting aside his deep history of animosity with both Hearn and Matchroom’s main man Anthony Joshua to captain the team against Queensberry.

It’s a huge night for Wilder, who saw plans to finally battle Joshua in a lucrative clash this year totally derailed after he was dominated and comprehensively outpointed by Joseph Parker in a major upset on the same ‘Day of Reckoning’ card as Joshua’s emphatic knockout win over Otto Wallin in Riyadh in December.

It was a dreadful performance from Wilder as he was totally outworked, outfought and outboxed, unable to find any opportunities to unleash his devastating right hand and one-punch knockout power as he suffered his third career defeat by unanimous decision with one-sided scores of 118-111, 118-110 and 120-108.

It was only the ‘Bronze Bomber’s’ second fight since his back-to-back losses to complete the epic trilogy with Tyson Fury, having provided a reminder of the fearsome power he still possesses with a first-round destruction of Robert Helenius in New York in October 2022.

Heavyweight showdown: Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang headline the Matchroom vs Queensberry 5v5 card (Getty Images)
Heavyweight showdown: Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang headline the Matchroom vs Queensberry 5v5 card (Getty Images)

Having lost three of his last four fights, it’s absolutely must-win territory now for Wilder - who turns 39 in October - if he hopes to have any chance of returning to world title contention or still realising ambitions of money-spinning showdowns with the likes of Joshua, with many having questioned what exactly he has left in the tank.

Wilder, who has suggested he will retire if he loses again, is likely to face another tough test against Zhang, the towering and hard-hitting veteran Chinese southpaw who stated his own title credentials with a pair of crushing wins over Joe Joyce last year.

However, the 41-year-old Olympic silver medalist also then came unstuck against the resurgent Parker, who was floored twice but still managed to claim a deserved majority decision win on the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou undercard in Saudi Arabia in March.

Like Wilder, the ageing Zhang can ill-afford another loss this weekend if he is to go on and challenge for any of the heavyweight titles in future.

Wilder vs Zhang date, start time, venue and ring walks

Wilder vs Zhang is part of the Matchroom vs Queensberry 5v5 event which takes place tonight, Saturday June 1, 2024 at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The action is set to commence from 7pm BST, 2pm ET and 9pm local time.

How to watch Wilder vs Zhang

TV channel: In the UK, this weekend’s event is being broadcast live on DAZN pay-per-view and TNT Sports Box Office at a cost of £21.99.

Live stream: Fans who have purchased the event through the relevant broadcaster can watch it live online via the DAZN website and app or Discovery+ website and app.

Live blog: You can follow Wilder vs Zhang and the whole 5v5 card with Standard Sport’s live fight night blog.

Wilder vs Zhang fight card/undercard in full

Also on the 5v5 card, Daniel Dubois takes on Filip Hrgovic in another high-profile heavyweight showdown.

Queensberry captain Hamzah Sheeraz takes on fellow undefeated middleweight contender Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, while Nick Ball will challenge for Raymond Ford’s WBA featherweight title.

Willy Hutchinson and Craig Richards collide in a light-heavyweight bout, while the night will also see Dmitry Bivol defend his WBA title at 175lbs against Malik Zinad - a replacement opponent for Artur Beterbiev, whose knee injury sadly saw the postponement of a mammoth undisputed contest that was supposed to serve as the main event in Riyadh.

Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang

Daniel Dubois vs Filip Hrgovic

Dmitry Bivol vs Malik Zinad

Willy Hutchinson vs Craig Richards

Hamzah Sheeraz vs Austin Williams

Nick Ball vs Raymond Ford

Wilder vs Zhang prediction

The stakes are huge in this potentially explosive heavyweight contest which is very tough to call, with defeat for either fighter another monumental setback that would surely all but end their hopes of making any further impact in the division or ever getting back into the world title picture.

It is a bout between two massive punchers set up for fireworks, with both men carrying serious power capable of knocking out any heavyweight on the planet and changing any given fight in an instant.

Neither man can afford to lose again in Riyadh main event (Getty Images)
Neither man can afford to lose again in Riyadh main event (Getty Images)

It might be messy and scrappy at times, but expect some massive shots to land... with Wilder’s formidable right hand likely to be the difference-maker, though it is worth noting that Zhang’s only two professional defeats to date - against Hrgovic and Parker - were on points.

It would be a valuable triumph for Matchroom, with double points on offer to the respective team captains on Saturday night - meaning four for a Wilder knockout or two for a decision victory. Could it be what secures an overall triumph for Hearn and Co?

Wilder to win by late knockout.

Wilder vs Zhang weigh-in results

Unsurprisingly, Zhang came in much the heavier of the two on Friday, with a weight advantage of almost 70lbs.

He tipped the scales at 282.8lbs, with Wilder at 214.6lbs, very similar to his weight when losing to Parker.

Wilder vs Zhang odds

Wilder to win: 13/10

Zhang to win: 8/13

Draw: 16/1

Wilder to win on points or by decision: 12/1

Wilder to win by knockout or technical knockout: 17/10

Zhang to win on points or by decision: 13/2

Zhang to win by knockout or technical knockout: 10/11

Odds via Betfair (subject to change).

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