Dmitry Bivol stops Malik Zinad to stay perfect as Artur Beterbiev undisputed showdown confirmed for October 12 | Boxing News


Dmitry Bivol continued preparations for an eagerly-awaited clash with Artur Beterbiev in style as he delivered a clinical sixth-round stoppage victory over Malik Zinad on Saturday.

Bivol, the WBA and IBO champion, had been due to face unified WBC, WBO and IBF champion Beterbiev for the undisputed light-heavyweight championship before the latter was forced to withdraw from the fight due to injury.

“We are professional boxers, we have to change tactics at any moment and I had enough time to change my preparations for a different fighter to Beterbiev,” said Bivol.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chair of General Authority for Entertainment in Saudi Arabia, took to the ring shortly after Bivol’s victory to confirm that the pair will meet on the rescheduled date of October 12, kicking off Riyadh Season in Saudi Arabia later this year.

Bivol extended his perfect record to 23-0 in what marked his first stoppage win since 2018, having arrived on the back of nine successive unanimous decision victories.

“I believe my power was there every time, and I didn’t have any doubts,” added Bivol.

A gulf in class was evident early on as Bivol sent a brave and aggressive Zinad to the canvas with a devastating left hook in the opening round.

Zinad, who falls to 22-1 after the first defeat of his professional career, continued to fight with confidence as he worked on the front foot in the face of the square-on Bivol stance so difficult to decipher.

For every display of sharp hand speed from Zinad was an equally blistering counter from the dominant Bivol, whose consistent accuracy had bloodied the nose of his opponent.

For all of Zinad’s industry, rarely did Bivol look troubled as he sought to bank some valuable rounds in view of Beterbiev down the line.

Finally his supreme timing and power told as he unlocked Zinad with a brutal left jab into a left hook to rock his man, before unleashing a wave of punishment that would force referee Howard Foster to step in and bring the fight to a halt.

Source link