Whyte: ‘I chose Rivas because I’m a warrior’
By Trevor McIntyre: Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas met today at their kickoff news conference in London to discus their upcoming fight on Sky Box Office on July 20 at the O2 Arena. Whyte, 6’3″, towered over the shorter 6’0 1/2″ Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), and it looked like the fighters were from different weight classes.
The difference in sizes between the two heavyweights is going to make this a really difficult fight for Rivas, who should be fighting at cruiserweight. He’s too small to be mixing it up with big heavyweights like Whyte.
Whyte just turned 31-years-old earlier this month on April 11th, and he and his promoter Barry Hearn of Matchroom Boxing are hoping the WBC will order the winner of the May 18th fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Dominic Breazeale to fight him next.
Whyte didn’t take part in an official WBC title eliminator, but he feels he’s done enough to be made the immediate mandatory for the Wilder-Breazeale fight. If the WBC gives Whyte his way, then it could impact the careers of not only the Wilder-Breazeale fight, but also #3 WBC Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, because he wants to fight the winner of the Wilder vs. Breazeale fight.
Whyte was complimenting himself for taking the fight with the shorter Rivas, but this looks like another mismatch like his past fights against the over-the-hill Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, journeyman Dereck Chisora, Malcom Tann, Robert Helenius and Ian Lewison.
“It’s a massive gamble, he’s a dangerous guy,” Whyte said to skysports.com about his fight against Rivas. “He’s very, very experienced, very well-schooled as well, and he can punch. He’s motivated as well. He looks strong.”
A massive gamble would be for Whyte to take on Luis Ortiz, not six-foot Oscar Rivas. This is a sure thing win for Whyte, and arguably not a pay-per-view worthy fight.
Rivas hasn’t looked that good in his fights with Bryant Jenning, Herve Hubeaux and Fabio Maldonado. Rivas hasn’t fought anyone good since he turned pro 10 years ago in 2009. Rivas has been a pro for a decade, and the fight against a reasonably talented heavyweight on his resume is Jennings. Rivas isn’t the knockout puncher that some thing he is. He’s been knocking out the lesser guys that he’s been matched against, but he still hasn’t been able to to KO the other weaker guys he’s faced. Whyte and promoters at Matchroom Sport have obviously scouted out Rivas well, an view him as a non-threat. If they wanted a risky opponent, they would have selected Luis Ortiz.
“That’s me, I’m a warrior by nature and by spirit,” Whyte said. “In my life, everything about me says warrior. I know how to do it. That’s what I do best.”