Boxing

Wilder vs Zhang: Bronze Bomber to Detonate on 5 v 5 in Saudi Arabia

Boxer Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder boasts 42 knockout wins

It's another huge show from Saudi Arabia as Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn select five fighters to go head-to-head including a tasty heavyweight battle between Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang. Betfair's Frank Monkhouse previews...

  • Deontay Wilder brings stunning 42 KO wins.

  • Chinese heavyweight Zhang boasts an 81% KO average.

  • Big Bang lost to Joseph Parker last time out.


Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang

Saturday, 21:00

Live on DAZN

The big nights keep on coming for boxing fans, with Queensberry vs Matchroom from Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening.

We're back at the Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, just weeks after Oleksandr Usyk sensationally defeated Tyson Fury to unify the heavyweight division. Attention now turns to Frank Warren vs Eddie Hearn as the two UK promoters choose five fighters each in a box-off before a global audience.

Which promoter will come out on top and show they are the main man in boxing? Each has sent a strong hand to Saudi and looks determined to win and secure the bragging rights. It's great to see the experienced promoters combine their talents for this celebration of prizefighting, and again, credit goes to organizers in Saudi Arabia for their continued investment to make boxing great again.

I begin my preview with Wilder vs Zhang and cover the best the night has to offer. You can gamble on any of Saturday's bouts using the Betfair app or website, where you'll find generous odds and exciting promotions.

Wilder has plenty to offer

The heavyweight landscape has changed a lot since Wilder was the WBC heavyweight champion, and Anthony Joshua held the other belts. Now, Usyk is in complete control after dethroning both AJ and the Gypsy King. Is there still room for Wilder in the division? I think he has plenty left to offer boxing.

The 38-year-old from Alabama didn't take his defeats to Fury well, but he remains a dangerous fighter with incredible power, and I expect him to remind the boxing world of his strengths in this comeback. The Bronze Bomber has fought just twice since completing the trilogy with Fury. He beat Robert Helenius inside a round before losing on points to Parker at this venue late last year.

Defeat to Parker was a shock, but I'm picking Wilder to catapult himself back into the title picture with a knockout victory over Zhang. That won't come as early as it did against Helenius, as Zhang is a big, powerful, and always dangerous opponent.

But Deontay will find the mark, and when he does, he should deal with a 41-year-old opponent comfortably inside the distance. Back Wilder by KO/TKO on the sportsbook at odds of 17/102.70.

Zhang has a puncher's chance

It's never a wise move to write off Zhang before the first bell, as he carries knockout power in both hands and an impressive engine. He boxed well against Parker in Saudi Arabia before dropping a majority decision on the scorecards. But Wilder is a different challenge to Parker with the American bringing phenomenal power.

Zhang returns to Saudi with his professional boxing record reading 26 wins, two defeats, and a draw with 21 KO victories and all losses on the cards. He'll be dangerous throughout the contest, but I'm confident Wilder's speed will make the difference in the middle to later rounds. For me the Betfair odds are the wrong way roun - Zhang is the favourite at 8/131.61 for the win on the Betfair Sportsbook.


Back Bivol to land KO blow

Dmitrii Bivol vs Malik Zinad

Saturday, 20:00

Live on DAZN

It's not the fight fans wanted to see, and it's disappointing Dmitrii Bivol won't get to face Artur Beterbiev in Saudi. Still, I'm sure that fight will happen before the end of the year, especially if Bivol does the business and beats Malik Zinad in style to remain the major name in the light heavyweight division.

Bivol brings a perfect 22-fight record with 11 knockout wins and is the number-one ranked fighter in the division. I'm backing him to remain there with another impressive win, beating Zinad inside the distance.

Bivol's last 10 fights have made it to the 12th round, winning nine on points and the spare by a late stoppage. I'm backing Bivol to record another late stoppage at 4/51.80 on the sportsbook.

Zinad starts as the outsider with 12/113.00 available about what would surely be the biggest upset of the evening. He has won his previous 22 starts, 16 by KO, but hasn't been anywhere near the same level as his opponent. Saturday is a huge step up, and I expect the gulf in class will show as this bout warms up and Bivol finds his range.


Defeat looms for Dubois

Filip Hrgovic vs Daniel Dubois

Saturday, 19:00

Live on DAZN

Another big fight on a night of big fights, and I expect to see Dynamite Daniel Dubois suffer another crushing stoppage defeat that will push him further out of the world heavyweight title picture.

There is currently no direct route for Triple D to challenge for the belts, with Usyk tied up with Fury before pursuing other big-name targets. The young Londoner must stay dedicated and keep winning if he's to gain a rematch with Usyk anytime soon. But I don't expect Dubois to win on Saturday, and I won't be backing him at the generous 15/82.88 available at Betfair.

Hrgovic gets the nod. The Croatian brings a 17-0-0 record with 14 knockout wins already on his card. He's ranked number eight in the world, but will surely improve with the right result here.

Saturday is a golden opportunity for Filip to steal the show and prove he's destined for bigger and better things. Back Hrgovic to win by stoppage at 5/61.84 and hope this fight catches fire early.


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