By Tim Royner: David Haye thinks Dillian Whyte has got a real tough opponent in front of him for this Saturday night in Oscar Rivas, and he’s just glad he’s ready for the match. Haye thinks that if Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) had faced the tough as nails Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) seven to eight years ago, he wouldn’t be ready for it.
Whyte-Rivas will be fighting for the interim WBC heavyweight title this Saturday night on July 20 on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. The winner of the fight will be the mandatory challenger to WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says the WBC’s resolution states that the Whyte-Rivas winner will be the mandatory to Wilder. He has until May 18 to defend against the winner.
Haye say Whyte is facing a dangerous opponent in Rivas
“Dillian Whyte has chosen probably one of the most dangerous fighters to fight,” said Haye to skysports.com. “He’s not big, he’s like Mike Tyson, that’s the only thing I can liken him to. It’s a good thing Dillian Whyte is the goods. He’s undefeated, a top amateur, and you can see he’s got a certain spark in his eye. He’s got that arrogance of never losing.”
Rivas’ nonstop punching style could prove to be too much for Whyte, who fell apart when Joseph Parker finally showed some aggression in the 12th round of their fight last year in July 2018 in London. Parker put Whyte on the deck, and came razor close to knocking him out.
Had Parker fought with some confidence in the first 11 rounds, he would have easily knocked Whyte out. Anthony Joshua battered Whyte in stopping him in the seventh round in 2015. Rivas’ all out style of fighting could prove to be too much for the stamina-plagued.
We can expect to see Whyte using some of his kickboxing background to try and rough up Rivas by fouling him with assortment of fouls on Saturday night. It’ll be interesting to see if the referee allows Whyte to get away with the fouls like he did in his fight with Parker.
Hearn previews David Price vs. Dave Allen
“I’m looking at Dave Allen on social media. He’s already talking about [Alexander] Povetkin and [Manuel] Charr,” said Eddie Hearn. “He’s mentally in a great place right now. His confidence is at another level. Darren Barker has done a great job. He knows what to expect from David Price. Most people say Price inside four or five, and Allen after. Will it be this crazy shootout that everyone keeps saying? Quite possibly. You can”t stand in front of David Price just taking shots. So will he do it on the night?”
Hearn is amused how domestic level heavyweight Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) is already looking past his fight this Saturday night against 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Price (24-6, 19 KOs). For weeks, Allen has been talking about wanting to fight former WBA ‘regular’ champion Alexander Povetkin and move on to bigger things after he deals with the 6’8″ Price. Given how meager Allen’s resume is in terms of name fighters, it’s hard to believe that he’s already counting his fight against Price as a win. This could prove to be a mistake on Allen’s part, because he’s not had success against the talented fighters. When Allen stepped up, he was beaten by Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortiz, Lenroy Thomas and Tony Yoka.
Price is confident for Allen fight says Hearn
“Price is really quiet, and confident in this one. He has this aura about him this week,” said Hearn. “He just looks confident. He looks sure of himself going into this. He looks mentally sure of himself, which is something he hasn’t done in the past. It’s a 50-50 match-up. Dave Allen might even be deluded or is in such a good place mentally that he truly believes he’s going to bulldoze Price, and then go on and get the bigger fight against Povetkin or Charr,” said Hearn.
Hearn hits it on the head in describing the confidence that Price is showing. He seems more confident for this fight than he has in a long time. It’s as if he knows he’s going to win, so he’s not bothered by all the trash talking that Allen is doing. This is how Price used to act before he suffered losses to Tony Thompson, Erkan Teper, Christian Hammer, Alexander Povetkin and Sergey Kuzmin. If it were just a learning thing that Price needed for him to improve, then it wouldn’t be so bad. But his losses to those fighters had more to do with his poor punch resistance and his stamina problems. Those are issues that will likely still be there for him on Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with Allen. What this fight could come down to which fighter lands their big shots first.
Dereck Chisora vs. Artur Szpilka
“It’s a great match-up, and it’s one that has gone a little bit under the radar, because of the interest in Whyte-Rivas and Allen-Price as well,” said Hearn about the Dereck Chisora vs. Artur Szpilka fight. “Chisora sometimes struggles against southpaws, but something about the O2 Arena, something about the crowd in there lifts Dereck Chisora that helps him put in great performances. You saw that against Carlos Takam. We saw it against Dillian Whyte in December. He [Chisora] was winning that fight after 10 rounds,” said Hearn.
This isn’t a great match-up like Hearn states. This is more of a mismatch. Szpilka’s ability to handle big shots from his opponents isn’t going to keep him in the fight with Chisora for long on Saturday. If Chisora starts landing rabbit shots the back of Szpilka’s head, this fight will end quickly. There’s a way of beating Chisora, but that requires a lot of movement and/or leaning forward backwards over the ropes to avoid his illegal rabbit punches that he tends to throw repeatedly. Tyson Fury easily beat Chisora twice by leaning his head over the ropes to avoid rabbit shots. Szpilka, 6’3″, isn’t tall enough to lean far enough over the ropes to avoid getting hit to the back of the head by Chisora. The referee needs to do his job by policing the punches to the back of the head that Chisora throws.
Chisora-Szpilka winner could face Parker or Usyk next says Hearn
“This is going to be a great fight against Artur Szpilka,” said Hearn. These are two crazy dudes that are going to be going at it in a great fight. The winner of that fight will be going into a big fight, where it’s [Joseph] Parker, whether it’s [Oleksandr] Usyk. It’s those kinds of levels. It’s a must win for Dereck Chisora, and I think the crowd will play a big part. There will be a big Polish crowd out there as well, because Szpilka is a big star. I really fancy Chisora to do the business. I think he’ll win by a knockout.”