Dillian Whyte 25 (18 KOs)-1 (1 KO)-0 will finally fight for the interim WBC Heavyweight title against Oscar Rivas 26 (18 KOs)-0-0 giving someone mandatory status for Deontay Wilder’s WBC title, it will take place at the O2 arena Greenwich this Saturday broadcasted on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
You know those days where nothing ever seems to be finished, like those tasks that whenever you think you’ve finished there’s another part that needs looking at. This is kind of how I feel Dillian Whyte feels with the WBC after being in their number one position for at least 18 months without being given mandatory status.
The reasons for this can easily spill over into a whole other article so let’s focus on the actual fight between Whyte and Rivas, the winner of which will be granted mandatory status with the WBC. I won’t lie I’m about as big a Dillian Whyte fan as there is, and to be honest to see him lose at this point after he has proven himself so many times, and beaten so many top opponents would be gutting, but despite what the rather curious odds say Rivas is definitely going to be a challenge for the Jamaican born Brit. Rivas was always one of those fighters who was on my radar but never quite tuned into watch, like Luis Ortiz in 2016 for example. Having seen some of him now I’m really curious to see how Whyte will deal with Rivas’s simple yet effective style.
To boil it down simply, it’s basically jab coming forward with a tight guard, wait for the opponent to commit and then counter. It shares a lot of similarities with Andy Ruiz to be honest, with the main difference being that Ruiz tends to lean towards speed and Rivas power. The Bryant Jennings fight showed both how to fight Rivas and how not to fight him. There’s no use in flicking out a single jab to the head, because like Ruiz against Joshua with that tight shell he’ll just parry you and continue to walk you down. What you need to do is throw in combinations and importantly change angles, go from hooks to straights to uppercuts. If there is a punch the Colombian is susceptible to it is the uppercuts, of which Dillian throws a good right.
What I would say is that since both fighters are good counter punchers I expect a lot of waiting and looking at each other with Rivas coming forwards and Whyte moving backwards, I’m pretty sure this will be a slow burn, because as the rounds go on Whyte will be forced to engage more and that’s when we’ll see fireworks. Running through Dillian Whyte quickly, we all know what we get, a good boxer who can fight, an underrated boxing IQ and good counter punching especially with that catch and shoot left hook but a fighter who isn’t the most coordinated. You’re not going to see Dillian Whyte rattle off the same fluid combos that Andy Ruiz throws any time soon.
Picking a winner for this fight then is difficult, on the one hand I do think that Rivas will force Whyte to fight in a way at times like the first Derek Chisora fight, but on the other hand I think that Whyte is willing to miss in a way that Rivas isn’t. Rivas is very much a fighter who fights at a low volume, and I think that will give Whyte the chance to steal rounds as he is retreating and looking ragged at times, but landing.
Prediction therefore is Whyte points, not particularly revolutionary but I’ll just be happy if there are zero surprises and zero drama in this fight because for me Dillian Whyte has been conned by the WBC and has more than deserved his shot for months now, and I for one win or lose against Wilder would love to see him get that chance.
On the undercard there are another two good heavyweight fights as Dave Allen 17 (14 KOs)-4 (2 KOs)-2 takes on David Price 24 (19 KOs)-6 (6 KOs)-0 in a fight that has zero chance of going the distance, and Derek Chisora 30 (21 KOs)-9 (3 KOs)-0 takes on former world title challenger Artur Szpilka 22 (15 KOs)-3 (3 KOs)-0.