Dillian Whyte defeats Oscar Rivas to become the mandatory for Deontay Wilder!
Dillian Whyte was one fight away from getting the bout he has been wanting for nearly two years! The only person who stood in his way in a WBC interim heavyweight bout was former Olympian Oscar Rivas!
This was a seen as dangerous match-up as soon as the announcement was made! Rivas has a ridiculous amateur pedigree that bagged names like unified champion Andy Ruiz and top contender Kubrat Pulev.
Additionally, he is a hungry, undefeated fighter.
Meanwhile, Whyte has won nine straight since his lone loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015. He is easily seen as the most improved fighter over the last four years!
Respect My Power!
Rivas wasted no time applying pressure in the opening round. It seemed he wanted to show the WBC #1 ranked contender he has the power to make it an early night!
Whyte on the other hand, elected to be patient; allowing his opponent to set a pattern he could eventually exploit.
That ended up being the smarter thing to do for the favorite as his patience allowed him to land a huge shot that wobbled the Columbian in the second round. He instantly went in for the kill, but Rivas was much too conditioned to fall victim to the onslaught.
However, this made Rivas tentative to rush-in like he did in the first round for the duration of the fight. As a result, Whyte was allowed to get comfortable, staying on the outside while utilizing his jab to setup different follow-up shots.
The Jab is the Key!
Whyte found the key to the promise land! The smaller former Olympian was relegated to being a one-dimensional fighter due to the stiff jab and movement of the British fighter.
All he would have to do is keep it up and do not get tired! This would also be key as we continue this breakdown!
Rivas tried his hardest to get inside, which he did at times, but he would over exert himself trying to land something big. Furthermore, Whyte would attack the body anytime his opponent would get within three feet of him.
Not only did the #1 contender display excellent ability to judge distance and control the pace of the fight, he was defensively sound as well. He made sure to keep circling the ring and kept his guard high if he could not counter Rivas on his way in.
Also, he found a home for the left hook to the body! Rivas was too preoccupied in trying to get inside that he would leave his body wide open. Each left hook landed would make the Columbian take a deep breath and reset.
Stamina Has Always Been An Issue
In round nine, Whyte took his foot off the gas to get a breather. That turned out to be a mistake! With his back against the ropes, Rivas charged in and landed a combination that ended in a right uppercut.
The shot sent the favorite down to the canvas! The fans at the O2 gasped in shock as their fighter rose to his feet to beat the count.
Now the questions were “will Whyte find a second wind? Will his stamina fail him again?” Fans were glued to the fight with thoughts of how Rivas came back to stop Bryant Jennings in the last round of their bout in January!
In The End
The man they call “The Body Snatcher” would recover and went back to peppering his opponent with the jab from the outside.
Reminiscent of the earlier rounds, Rivas did everything he could to get inside in the final round. However, this would be a bit different as he understood he needed a knockout to win the fight.
That big shot would never come again!
Whyte showed in this fight his ability to make the necessary adjustments, stick to a game-plan and overcome adversity.
The judges would ultimately report a unanimous decision with scores of 116-111 and 115-112 twice. The opportunity is now here! Whyte is officially the mandatory for WBC champion Deontay Wilder!
In the post-fight interview, the new mandatory acknowledged his claim to face Wilder but jokingly stated he could still end up being the mandatory for another 600 days. He also stated he’s looking for his next fight to be in November.
At the end of the day, Whyte has done more than enough to earn his shot. If it has to be early or late 2020, the WBC needs to honor the mandatory position they have designated!
By: EJ Williams