Dmitry Bivol sends Malik Zinad to face Artur Beterbiev next

For the first time in 10 fights, Dmitry Bivol scored a stoppage victory Saturday with a sixth-round TKO of Malik Zinad to retain his WBA light heavyweight title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

And now, Bivol (23-0, 11 KOs) will embark on an undisputed light heavyweight championship fight on October 12 against Artur Beterbiev in Riyadh, according to Turki Alalshikh, president of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia .

Bivol and Beterbiev were scheduled to fight on Saturday before the latter underwent surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus. Libya’s Zinad (22-1, 16 KO) stepped up less than 30 days later and entered the ring as a major underdog in his first world title attempt.

Bivol, 33, floored Zinad in the first round with a three-punch combination and continued to dispatch him over the next four frames.

The Russian broke through in the sixth round with a left hook that rocked Zinad. Bivol followed up with a series of punches along the ropes as the referee halted the action with Zinad, 30, defenseless at 2:06.

“I believe my power is still with me,” Bivol said. “I had no doubt, of course (my) power (is) with me.”

Bivol owns a win over the sport’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, and is ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer. His footwork is among the best in the world, as is his ability to control the range of his jab.

“You are one of the best fighters of all time and you deserve this,” Alalshikh told Bivol. “We’re giving you four or five fights, big fights. We want to see you against (David) Benavidez, we want to see you against (Jai) Opetaia, against the tough (opponents).”

Both are great potential matchups, but neither is as enticing as October’s matchup with Beterbiev, a 39-year-old Russian with a 100 percent knockout ratio. Beterbiev is one spot behind Bivol on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list. The Bivol fight is one of the most anticipated boxing fights in years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *