Oscar Rivas ready to end Dillian Whyte’s title dreams
By Charles Brun: Dillian Whyte has seemingly been overlooking his opponent Oscar Rivas ahead of their July 20th fight on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn have focused almost exclusively upon getting the World Boxing Council to make the Rivas fight a title a final eliminator with the interim WBC heavyweight title on the line. Hearn is trying to get a title shot for Whyte against WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Whyte has made things tough on himself
Eddie is so confident that Whyte can beat Wilder, that he’s guided him down the much harder path to a title shot. If Hearn had simply matched Whyte against Anthony Joshua, when he was still an unbeaten heavyweight world champion, things would have been easier. Whyte has made things much harder for himself by not targeting Joshua, and choosing not to part in title eliminators.
This would have been taken care of last year if Whyte had simply accepted the title eliminator that was offered to him by the WBC against Luis Ortiz. It’s bad Whyte didn’t take that fight then, because he would be ready to challenge Wilder right now. There would be no need for Whyte to face Rivas.
Whyte making a mistake overlooking Rivas
Rivas thinks it’s going to be a problem for Whyte if he’s been overlooking him, focusing on getting a fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
- “I don’t care what Whyte is thinking. If he’s not thinking about me, that’s his problem,” Rivas said to skysports.com.“I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for years, and now it is happening,” Rivas told Sky Sports. “I am looking forward to showing people what I can do.
In hindsight, Whyte should have fought Ortiz last year in the WBC’s title eliminator, and he would already be the mandatory for Wilder. That’s IF Whyte had won the fight. A lot of boxing fans think Ortiz would have beaten Whyte by a knockout, which means it was probably a good idea that he chose instead not to face the talented Cuban.
Hearn wants WBC to give date when Whyte-Rivas winner will face Wilder
After Whyte beat Dereck Chisora in a rematch last December, Hearn picked Rivas for him to fight on July 20, and then asked the WBC to make the Whyte-Rivas fight a final eliminator. Hearn also wants the sanctioning body to give a date for when Deontay Wilder would need to defend against the winner of the fight. Hearn wants Wilder to have to defend against the Whyte vs. Rivas after his next title defense, which is expected to be against Ortiz in October or November.
That may not happen. The WBC could choose to give Wilder the Franchise tag, which would make it impossible for Whyte to fore a fight against him. That would be a crushing blow for Whyte, because he needs a win over Wilder to raise his profile in the U.S and the UK. It’s not enough for Whyte to beat guys like 40-year-old Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Brown, Robert Helenius, David Allen, Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker.
Whyte needs win over Wilder to validate him in the eyes of fans
Dillian wants to be seen beating a good heavyweight, and Wilder is the guy that Whyte needs to be seen beating. If the WBC gives Wilder the Franchise tag, it frees him up to face Fury early 2020 without having to get tied down to defending his title against Whyte or Rivas.
The WBC might also reject Hearn’s request of making the Whyte vs. Rivas fight a final eliminator. They could ask the winner of that fight to face another fighter in a final eliminator. It would be interesting to see what Whyte and Hearn would do if the WBC once again puts Ortiz up there as the fighter that Dillian needs to beat in a title eliminator. Does Whyte choose not to face him or does he finally agree to take the match with the talented Cuban?
Forcing Wilder to fight the Whyte vs. Rivas winner so soon after Wilder’s recent mandatory defense last May means that he would be fighting two mandatory inside of a year. That’s not done too often in boxing. Hearn feels that because Whyte has been ranked #1 by the WBC for over 600 days, he should have been made the mandatory challenger by now. However, being ranked at #1 doesn’t mean that a fighter becomes a mandatory automatically, at least not with the WBC. Fighters need to take part in eliminators, which Whyte chose not to do last year for whatever reason.
Wilder interested in Fury rematch
Wilder wants to face Tyson Fury in early 2020. If Hearn gets his way, Wilder would need to defend against Whyte first, and then face Fury in their rematch after that. Wilder isn’t worried about Whyte as an opponent. He just sees him as a nuisance in potentially getting in the way of the fight that he wants against Fury. There’s much more interest from the U.S boxing public in seeing the Wilder-Fury rematch than there is for a simple title defense by Wilder against Whyte.
Dillian is arguably another Dominic Breazeale type of opponent. Whyte is an unknown, as far U.S casual boxing fans go, and he’s about the same level as Breazeale in terms of talent. He was almost knocked out by Joseph Parker last year, and probably would have lost the fight if the referee had done a better job controlling the fight.
Hearn obviously feels that Whyte will beat Rivas. It’ll be interesting to see if Rivas can pull off the upset, and show that Hearn made a mistake of selecting him as Whyte’s opponent.