Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn was left licking his wounds after all five of his fighters were defeated in the Matchroom v Queensberry 5 vs 5 event in Saudi Arabia.

Deontay Wilder, Craig Richards, Raymond Ford, Ammo Williams and Filip Hrgovic were all beaten, meaning Hearn was routed by fellow promoter Frank Warren in the team stakes.

“The whole night was incredible, the card was incredible, the build-up was incredible, but we wanted to win,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “It’s very disappointing to lose. Especially in that fashion, but very proud of the fighters, very proud of the concept, and we’ll be back for the rematch. Already got plans in place to run it back, and we shall do better next time.”

Hearn was asked to expand on a couple of the losses, and one saw his WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford lose his title in arguably the Fight of the Night to Liverpool’s relentless Nick Ball.

“It was a very close fight,” Hearn explained. “I thought it was 115-113 to Ray Ford, and that can go either way. So I’m not saying Nick got robbed last time [against Rey Vargas] so he deserved a victory, but what I will say is I’m pleased for him. 

“If anyone was going to beat Ray in a tight decision, you’d want it to be a Brit and I think Nick Ball is a very exciting fighter. I’ve made no secret of myself being a fan of Nick Ball, and I thought he was great tonight as well.”

By the time Wilder took to the ring to face Zhilei Zhang in the final fight of the night, the contest was out of site and the only job the American had was to resurrect his own career. But Zhang overpowered him and stopped him in five. 

Hearn was asked if Wilder should now retire. 

“That’s a personal decision for him,” the promoter replied. “He’s shown in the last two fights that he’s not the threat that he used to be, and he’s got to find the reason why. Is that because he doesn’t have it anymore? I don’t know. I said to AJ [Anthony Joshua] tonight, for a long time people feared Deontay Wilder. No one fears him anymore. 

“And you know, AJ went through a bit of that at one stage. Everyone used to be petrified of AJ, but now they’re petrified of him again. For me, it’s a personal decision for Deontay. We wish him all the best. He tried. He tried in camp, to convince himself. He tried in the ring, but he just couldn’t do it.”