Matchroom v Queensberry 5x5 options

It seems the best of Queensberry against the best of Matchroom might finally happen at some point in Saudi Arabia, or at least it has finally been discussed. 

At the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou announcement press conference, Turki Alalshikh, the Saudi advisor who has been the figurehead for Riyadh Season, was on hand and, aside from Joshua-Ngannou, two other significant topics were raised. Firstly, was the need for Artur Beterbiev versus Dmitrii Bivol happening in Saudi Arabia, and secondly Matchroom Boxing going head-to-head with Queensberry Promotions.

"The first card I want to see is between Frank [Warren] against Eddie [Hearn],” said Alalshikh. “Each one of them will choose five fighters [and have them compete] against each other.”

Now, let’s play matchmaker and try to make the best, and most feasible five-fight card. 

Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury.

Saudi loves big events. Joshua-Fury fits the bill. Both have fought in Saudi and both deliver ratings. 

Anthony Joshua might not fight in England again for a big bout given the current excitement in Saudi Arabia around his style. Fury is the WBC heavyweight champion, and that world title would make the stakes much greater. 

Joshua could erase a lot of his legacy woes with a win over Fury. 

Fury looked awful against Ngannou while Anthony Joshua looked amazing against Otto Wallin. 

Joshua’s career seems to be summed up by the fight that hasn’t happened. He got stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr. which stalled his career. Oleksandr Usyk defeated him, twice, too.

Yet Fury looks beatable ahead of his fight with Usyk on February 13. 

A match between these two fighters would decide who is the best British heavyweight of their era. Oh, and a lot of people would watch.

Zhilei Zhang-Filip Hrgović II

Hrgovic’s career stalled after winning a highly debatable unanimous decision over Zhilei Zhang. It seems that performance elevated Zhang’s career, and diminished the once promising career of ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic. 

The bout allows Hrgovic to prove the outcome of the first fight was just. Zhang, however, would get a chance at redemption as well as force the hand of the sanctioning bodies to give him a world title fight. 

But don’t discount that the IBF is known to randomly strip fighters, so if this fight were made it could happen for a vacant world title. 

If Zhang beats Joseph Parker, this would be an interesting bout filled with intrigue and one that could help shape the division.

Joe Joyce-Dillian Whyte

Heavyweight Joe Joyce has not been seen since being stopped brutally by Zhang a second time. Dillian Whyte failed a drug test and disappeared. 

Both fighters seem to be on the way out. Some might prefer a fight between Joe Joyce and Deontay Wilder, but if that can’t be made, Whyte has a good aggressive style. Joe Joyce comes forward and incites violence. 

This could be a very good fight. 

Daniel Dubois-Jai Opetaia

Saudi Arabia has taken a liking to the former cruiserweight world champion Jai Opetaia. Let’s defy logic and talk about tradition. Opetaia is nearing the point of being so dominant in the cruiserweight division that he is in need of a promotion to the bigger paydays of the heavyweight division. 

Though it might be a lot to ask, imagine his first fight at heavyweight as a fight against Daniel Dubois, a solid contender, but a fighter defined by his losses more than his wins. 

Dubois needs a win of this level, and Opetaia could potentially see himself bumping into the pound-for-pound talk with a victory. This would also enter Jai Opetaia into conversations for future huge fights with a win. 

Opetaia is serving as a Tyson Fury sparring partner ahead of the Usyk fight as well and has said he plans to move up in the future, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. 

Leigh Wood-Nick Ball

This is a wild card and might not make sense, but why not? Leigh Wood is a former world champion moving up to the 130lbs division. Nick Ball will fight Rey Vargas for the WBC featherweight title on March 8. 

Wood is perfect for these types of cards because he is one of the most thrilling modern fighters following comeback knockouts over Michael Conlan and Josh Warrington and his rough two-fights with Mauricio Lara, both ended in stoppages – one for each fighter.

Nick Ball is an aggressive come-forward fighter. It would be perfect to open the card and could steal the show.