Dmitry Bivol says any fighter at this level can pose a real threat. | Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images

Dmitry Bivol will take on an unheralded opponent this weekend but won’t get caught overlooking him.

Light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will be taking on Malik Zinad this weekend instead of Artur Beterbiev, but despite many fans understandably disappointed, Bivol tells Fight Hub TV that he’s learned that he must be adaptable. Because of this Bivol says he’s fully committed his focus to beating Zinad who he respects as an opponent even if the general audience isn’t familiar with him. Check out some excerpts of what Bivol had to say below.

Bivol on going through a late change in opponent and not yet getting the opportunity to fight for undisputed

“Life now is going so fast because of a lot of things, and to get success we need to change fast. If situation is different, it’s changing, we should change fast and be focused on the new goal. Now I have Zinad. I don’t want to talk about undisputed fight because now in two days I’m going to fight with good boxer who’s hungry, who never lost, and I have to be the better version of Dmitry Bivol and I have to keep my belts because I have my goal which we will talk after the fight.

“Of course I was not happen when I heard this news but I had to change fast and I ask what the options. They give me the option Zinad, and I told them ‘yes, let’s talk about Zinad.’”

On changing his camp to prepare for Zinad instead of Beterbiev

“Not too much difficult because we just change our sparring partners and a little bit the style of the fight, but not too much. I cannot change my camp 100% because it doesn’t work like this. You are always preparing similar, doesn’t matter which opponent. It’s just different sparring partners, a little bit different combinations, but still you have to do all your basic things.”

On those who believe Zinad will be an easy fight for him

“Yes, people think that I should win easy but for me it’s not like this. I’m focused on him. On this level there is no easy fights. Guys who’s coming from nowhere, for people it’s from nowhere but boxers know where he comes from, boxers know how he was fighting, how many fights he has. It’s not easy opponent.

“He’s tall, he has good right hand, he has good jab and he’s hungry. I have to be focused everytime because we saw lot of examples where guy from nowhere could make some problems for guy who’s known. And I have to be focused and respect him.”

On David Benavidez feeling confident he would beat him based on past sparring

“I respect him as a fighter, he’s a really great fighter. What he’s saying, he wants to fight me and Beterbiev, it means he’s great fighter, he’s confident and he wants to achieve more and more.

“I remember we had a couple sparrings. I remember it was some good moments from my side, some good moments from his side. But, you know, it’s sparring. This camp I had a lot of sparrings with different opponents and sometimes they were really good with me and I was angry.

“Sparring is sparring. You do some things which coach told you ‘you should do this and this’ and you are trying one round, you couldn’t do it, and now another round you try to do this and couldn’t. In the third round you can do it once only and you feel like you win this sparring because you did what your coach ask you.

“And in the fight, of course it’s different. In the fight they will ask you to do something, you will not waste your time if it’s not good. You will try to do another thing, another, another. Sparring is training.”

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