Whyte, Rivas Looking to Become Mandatory WBC Heavyweight Title Challenger
Heavyweight boxers Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas will fight this weekend in London to become the interim WBC heavyweight champion.
Updated: July 18, 2019 • 9:36 PM ET
Dillian Whyte is looking to make a statement against Oscar Rivas.
The interim WBC heavyweight title will be on the line this Saturday, as Dillian Whyte will battle undefeated boxer Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London to determine who will challenge for the WBC belt next.
While the winner would become mandatory challenger, they may have to wait until the second half of 2020 for a title shot. WBC champion Deontay Wilder is rumored to have rematches scheduled with Luis Ortiz in November and Tyson Fury in early 2020. Promotor Eddie Hearn doesn’t think Wilder nor Fury are ecstatic about the WBC’s ruling to make Saturday’s winner the mandatory challenger.
"I don't think they're very happy, and they'll try everything they can to try and get out of it, but now we have it solid," Hearn recently told Sky Sports. "He's wanted Wilder for a long, long time. Fury called him out recently and we have publicly accepted that challenge and he's changed his mind, so I don't think anyone wants to fight Dillian Whyte.
“That's why we've had to force the mandatory position. It's going to be interesting, but that's again why we had to get this position, because no one is going to choose Dillian Whyte to fight."
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Whyte is coming off an explosive 11th-round knockout of Dereck Chisora in December, a rematch from a previous split decision in 2016. He has won nine straight fights and hasn’t lost since 2015 when he was TKO’d by former champion Anthony Joshua.
On his path to Saturday’s interim title fight, Whyte has defeated Chisora (twice), Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne and former champion Joseph Parker. The 31-year-old United Kingdom native isn’t looking ahead of Saturday’s opponent to a potential title fight with Wilder.
"I don't overlook no one," Whyte said. "I train hard for everyone and the violence of the sport excites me. I train for it.
“I love that. I'm ready for that. Why would I all of a sudden overlook someone now?”
The 32-year-old Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), who fights out of Canada, most recently defeated former title challenger Bryant Jennings by 12th-round TKO. Jennings was Rivas’ biggest victory to date, but Rivas is ready to prove that he belongs at the top of the heavyweight ranks.
"I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for years, and now it is happening,” Rivas recently said via The Sun. “I am looking forward to showing people what I can do.
"I don't care what Whyte is thinking. If he's not thinking about me, that's his problem."