WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) weighed in at 175 lbs, and challenger Malik Zinad (22-0, 16 KOs) came in at 174.2 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in for their 12-rounder on the loaded ‘5 vs. 5’ event this Saturday, June 1st, live on DAZN PPV at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

Zinad’s Golden Opportunity

Zinad is really to pull off the upset against Bivol, who had been preparing to face unified champion Artur Beterbiev until he suffered a knee injury.

Fortunately, Zinad was able to step in and replace Beterbiev, and he’s now ready to make the most of his chance by defeating a tired-looking Bivol, who looks like he hasn’t slept well this week. If Zinad wins, he’ll be Libya’s first world champion.

This is the perfect timing for Zinad to challenge Bivol because he’s been training for a different style, and he will have to make the most of it with the little time he’s had.

Bivol did not look good in his last fight against Lyndon Arthur in December, and some fans believe he’s lost something from his game from his two fights against Gilberto Ramirez and Canelo Alvarez.

Although Bivol won both contests, he took many shots, which may have affected him, leaving him the shell that labored in his last fight against Lyndon.

A Cinderella Story in the Making?

“Everyone will get surprised on the first of June,” said Malik Zinad to DAZN Boxing about his title challenge of WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in Riyadh. “I’m a fighter, so I said, ‘Let’s go.’ I waited for this shot for a long time.

“I will never get this shot again. I’ll show the world. I’m going to show it,” said Zinad. “I had six weeks. I’m always ready for this moment. So, I’ll be ready for this fight. You will be surprised by this fight. They will see something big.”

If Zinad can beat Bivol and move forward to face IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev for the undisputed championship in early 2025, it would be a Cinderella story. All that hard work Bivol has put in for the Beterbiev fight would be wasted.

“He’s a good fighter; he’s a world champion. I have respect for him, but I’m going to be a world champion, too. So, he’s going to find a hard one in the ring on the first of June,” said Zinad.

Zinad’s Motivational Words

“After my last fight, I said, ‘I’ll fight in Riyadh,’ and it’s made. I said in the last time I was here, ‘I will fight one day here.’ I said, ‘I’m going to fight for a WBA world title, and I’m going to take it home with me.’ Of course, that’s what I am. That’s my job. That’s what I’m working for,” said Zinad, reacting to being praised for his confidence.

Zinad hasn’t faced anyone like Bivol, but it doesn’t matter. His motivation will give him the energy to make up for his lack of experience and possibly lead him to victory if he can deal with Dmitry’s combination punching and pull-back style.

“I’m used to this pressure. It means something big for me,” said Zinad about him being the first Libyan to fight for a world title. This is big for me, and I work hard for this moment.”

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