Who Is Malik Zinad And Can He Upset Dmitry Bivol?

By James Slater - 05/05/2024 - Comments

As fight fans may have read or heard by now, Dmitry Bivol will face a late sub on June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bivol, the reigning WBA light heavyweight champion, was of course set to face countryman and rival 175 pound champ Artur Beterbiev on June 1, this in one of the most looked forward to fight in some time, especially at the weight.

That mouthwatering clash will have to wait until Beterbiev, who holds all the other major belts at 175, is fully healed and healthy. But the show must go on, and it will do so. ESPN.com reports that Bivol will now stay busy against unbeaten Libyan fighter, Malik Zinad. No, I must be honest, I’ve not heard of him either. The 30 year old who now lives in Malta, is 22-0(16) and he will be making his first challenge for a world title. The June 1 fight will also see Zinad take a huge step up in class.

The main event on June 1 will now be the potential explosion that is the heavyweight showdown between punchers Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang.

But credit goes out to both Bivol and to Zinad – Bivol for agreeing to take another fight, and for Zinad for agreeing to step in at short-notice. An unbeaten fighter can be a dangerous fighter, and Zinad really will enter the ring having nothing to lose. Then again, is Zinad ready for the big stage, is he ready for someone as special as Bivol, currently 22-0(11)?

Zinad actually fought just a few days ago (April 24), with him winning a decision over an 18-0 Jerome Pampellone in Sydney, Australia. Zinad then, will be in fighting shape, while he has shown he is not afraid to travel in order to get a fight. Zinad, nicknamed “The Trigger,” has picked up a couple of small titles during his eight-and-a-half year pro career, and he has shown good, smooth boxing ability.

Yes, Zinad will enter the ring against Bivol as both a big underdog and an almost complete unknown, but to repeat, he is unbeaten, he doesn’t know how to lose, and he really does have nothing to lose by taking on Bivol. Who knows, a new name, a new force at 175 pounds could emerge at Bivol’s expense on June 1?

It would of course be a real shock if Bivol lost to Zinad, and would we still get that massive fight between he and Beterbiev if the jaw-dropper occurred? Speaking of the big four-belt unification clash between the two light heavyweight kings, the word is the fight will still happen this year. Providing Beterbiev is fully fit, and assuming Bivol doesn’t come a cropper against “The Trigger.”