Dillian Whyte had to come out of the canvas and survive, but did so and distinguished Oscar Rivas for a good win today in London. He recorded the interim WBC heavyweight title and became the official challenger.
Whyte (26-1, 18 KO) won on points of 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111. Bad Left Hook made the match 115-112 for Whyte.
For the most part, 31-year-old Whyte was able to work effectively behind his jab, using his height and achieving benefits nicely against the relatively small Rivas (26 -1, 18 KO), who failed to find the openings to really merge some momentum in the fight.
There was a real danger danger for Whyte in the ninth round, when he was drilled with an uppercut and put on the canvas. He was still wobbly when the fight resumed, and Rivas went to a finish, but Whyte survived it well, got his wits and legs back and recovered quite well in the rest of the fight.
For Rivas, it's obviously a setback, and the 32-year-old Colombian, fighting out of Montreal, has to find a way back to battle, which is safer than done. He will be small compared to almost all remarkable heavyweights and his skills are not so great that it is easy for him to overcome it. But he was competitive in this fight, never in any real danger himself, and if nothing else could be a hell of a high-altitude hiker ahead.
"He's a tough man, I have great respect for him," Whyte said after the fight.
With win, Whyte also has a technical mandatory challenger site for the WBC title currently held by Deontay Wilder. But it will not come next, and may not come for at least a year.
"We'll see. Boxing, man ̵
"He has beaten another world class fighter in Oscar Rivas, he is constantly improving. He will not be obliged, because there is always drama with Dillian Whyte. He is now the mandatory challenger. That shot comes, it's just a question of when, "says promoter Eddie Hearn. "Before the end of May 2020, Dillian Whyte must fight for the entire WBC title. He deserves it. He comes from nowhere."
Asked if Whyte's possible next opponent, Hearn had no names in mind right now.