WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol is trying not to lose focus after the postponement of his undisputed light heavyweight bout.

Bivol was supposed to fight three-belt titleholder Artur Beterbiev on Saturday at Kingdom Arena, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. But after Beterbiev withdrew because of a ruptured meniscus on May 3, Bivol will now face Malik Zinad.

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) fought only once last year after a banner year in 2022, in which he defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. An undisputed fight appeared to be another major opportunity for Bivol, 33, but he will now have to settle for a lesser-known opponent in Zinad (22-0, 16 KOs).

Still, Bivol says he refuses to overlook Zinad, a 30-year-old from Libya who upset undefeated Jerome Pampellone in his most recent fight.

“Now I have Zinad. I don’t want to talk about [an] undisputed fight,” Bivol said to Fight Hub TV. “I wasn’t happy when I heard the news [of Beterbiev’s withdrawal], but I had to change fast, and I asked what were the options.”

Bivol returned in December with a 12-round unanimous decision over Lyndon Arthur. That snapped a 13-month streak of inactivity, the second longest of his career. He previously faced a 19-month layoff after defeating Gilberto Castillo Rivera, with the COVID-19 pandemic stalling his return until 2021. The delays in Bivol’s career may have taught him patience.

“I am trying to not follow my emotions,” he said. “You should not follow your emotions because your brain will not like it in the future. Now I just try to be like a machine – see and win.”

Regarding his training camp, Bivol explained that he didn’t want to diminish any of his previous camps: “I cannot disrespect my previous camps, because every time before, every opponent, I try to do the best in training camp.”