Dmitry Bivol is expected to revert back to his conservative, cautious style of fighting when he fights Artur Beterbiev in their undisputed light heavyweight championship on October 12th in Riyadh.

It’s believed that WBA 175-lb champion Bivol (23-0, 12 KOs) only changed his style to become more aggressive for his fight against substitute opponent Malik Zinad last Saturday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh because this guy wasn’t a true world-class fighter.

Against the heavy-handed IBF/WBC/WBO champion Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs), Bivol will need to avoid getting into firefights with him because he punches too hard to take chances.

It’s still early to know if Beterbiev, 39, will be ready to return to the ring on October 12th because he’s coming off a ruptured meniscus. If he’s not fully rehabbed, we could see another postponement.

More of the in-and-out style

“I don’t think he’ll go against Beterbiev with that kind of style. I think it’s going to be more of the in and out style that he used in other fights in his career and the stuff he’s really more known for,” said boxing expert Paulie Malignaggi to Probox TV about Dmitry Bivol to return to his careful style when he faces Artur Beterbiev on October 12th for the undisputed light heavyweight championship rather than being aggressive like he was against Malik Zinad last Saturday night.

Bivol used the in-and-out style in his fights against Canelo Alvarez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Sullivan Barrera. Those three are arguably the best opponents Bivol has fought during his career, and he was cautious in those fights.

“Look at his opponents. Lyndon Arthur, and then he fought Malik Zinad. They’re not world-class,” said Chris Algieri about Bivol’s last two opponents. “Both guys are taller, and Beterbiev is not. Go back and look at when Bivol fought Sullivan Barrera [in 2018].

“In terms of body type and boxing IQ. Obviously, the power is different [between Beterbiev and Sullivan]. It’s going to be a similar fight to how he fought against Beterbiev. Size-wise, they’re pretty much the same size. Boxing technical skills are very similar. Obviously, power.”

Sullivan Barrera is a fighter different from Beterbiev. He didn’t possess the same counterpunching style, but he did show good power. Bivol was younger when he fought Barrera and was faster and more energetic.

“What I saw from Bivol that night. I was ringside. I was in the corner of Sullivan Barrera,” said Algieri. “What I saw from Bivol that night was astonishing. His ability to control distance. The power jab, that hammering jab. I saw that for the first time that night. We haven’t really seen that much since then.”

“I think when he fights a boxer, he mixes that with the power shot,” said Malignaggi about Bivol. “He adjusts on the fly.”

Zinad had pretty good punching power with his right hand when was using it in the first two rounds. But after getting dropped, Zinad focused on using his jab and he was mostly boxing.

Bivol’s Deep Bag of Tricks

“It’s just his bag of tricks. That’s what makes him so dangerous. He does enough to win with what he has in front of him. People are like, ‘Oh, so is that the style he uses now?’ No, that’s the style he used against that guy that night,” said Algieri about Bivol.

Bivols’ offense was predictable against Canelo and Ramirez. He was coming in, throwing several shots, and then backing away to the outside. Those guys couldn’t deal with his counter-punching and hand speed, and that’s why he was able to dominate them.

“His ability to adjust and figure things out. His bag of tricks is so deep; that’s what makes him so dangerous. That’s why he is the guy I picked to win against Beterbiev. He’s like a magician,” said Algieri.

“He doesn’t show his whole bag. He picks when he needs it. He wants to wow the crowd every single time, and he figures out what can work each and every time,” said Algieri about Bivol.

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