Oscar Rivas wants Andy Ruiz Jr. or Daniel Dubois
By Jim Maltzman: Oscar Rivas says he wants to fight former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. or Daniel Dubois next in 2020. The 2008 Olympian Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) reveals that he beat Ruiz Jr in the 2008 Olympic qualifiers to keep him off the team, and he would like to fight him again 12 years later.
It’s unlikely the management for the 22-year-old Dubois would let him fight a polished heavyweight like Rivas at this still early stage of his career. Dubois has mostly been matched against domestic level fighters with limited ability, and he’s thrived against them. Rivas a lot more gears to his game than the fighters that have been fed to big and slow Dubois.
Rivas came close to beating Whyte
The 32-year-old Colombian Rivas hasn’t signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing or Top Rank Boxing. With Matchroom not signing Rivas, he’ll look to ink with Top Rank. Rivas almost beat Dillian Whyte last July in losing a close 12 round unanimous decision in a WBC title eliminator at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Rivas knocked Whyte down in the 9th, and had him hurt in the 12th round after nailing him with a body shot. The referee made a mistake in stopping the action after Rivas hurt Whyte, thinking that it was a low blow. Whyte was then given time to recover. The move by the referee may have saved Whyte from being stopped.
As it is, Whyte barely won by the scores 115-112, 115-112, 116-111. Given the call by the referee in the 12th, it’s peculiar that Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn isn’t looking to make a rematch between Whyte and Rivas. Obviously, Hearn is looking to move Whyte forward to money fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. or Alexander Povetkin. Rivas already showed he’s a threat to Whyte, so it makes sense for Hearn not to let him get another shot at beating him.
Andy Ruiz Jr. ideal opponent for Rivas
“I would like to face Andy Ruiz or Daniel Dubois,” said Rivas to journaldequebec.com. “I’ve already faced Ruiz with amateurs in the 2007 Olympic qualifiers. I beat him [Ruiz] and at the same time prevented him from participating in the Olympic Games. And I think it would make a good fight. I am ready for any challenge,” said Rivas.
Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) is coming off of a loss to Anthony Joshua on December 7 in their rematch in Saudi Arabia. The defeated former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Ruiz Jr. is in training for his next fight. His management hasn’t yet decided on who he’ll fight next, but Hearn has already reportedly offered Ruiz a seven-figure offer to fight Whyte in the UK in March.
Considering the way that the Whyte-Rivas fight was officiated with the referee blowing a call in the 12th round, it’s unlikely that Ruiz Jr. would agree to that to a fight with Whyte in the UK. If he fights Whyte, it would need to be on neutral ground or in the U.S.