By: Shane Willoughby
It’s becoming a regular occurrence; if you put Dillian Whyte in a fight at the O2 expect fireworks. The Oscar Rivas fight was no exception.
Both men came to bring it and so long as they had energy, they had intent. It was clear to see that both men came to win and had 100% confidence in their ability.
However, the first round was really a weird one, because throughout the entire 3 minutes Whyte looked extremely disinterested. Which gave Rivas a lot of confidence to come forward and throw punches, and the Colombian was relentless in the opener.
But come round 2, the body-snatcher showed how much he has learnt in his career. Whenever someone is coming forward continuously you have to get their respect, and the only way you do that is by landing something big. Which is exactly what he did.
Whyte landed a powerful right hand on the top of Rivas left eye which had him rocked to his boots. Despite going for the KO, he couldn’t find the one punch to land flush and finish the job.
With that said, it was enough to shape the rest of the fight. From then on Rivas was coming forward but with much more caution. It was clear to see he didn’t want to get hit like that again.
This gave the Brit the space to throw the jab and move around – really dictating the fight behind a really strong jab. Rivas couldn’t find a way to get inside and whenever he did he walked into a big right hand or barrage of body punches.
Whyte really lived up to his name ‘the body-snatcher’ because the bodywork was fantastic – picking off nice and clean combinations which really slowed Rivas down.
Come round 9 it appeared as if Whyte was under control, and whilst Rivas still had the spirit it looked as if he was running out of ideas. But, Rivas found a way to get on the inside past Whyte’s jab, and he landed flush with a fantastic uppercut which sent his opponent to the canvas.
It looked to be more of a loss of balance rather than Whyte being hurt, but it was a genuine knockdown. But like we know, Whyte is probably the most battle-hardened fighter in the division. We have seen Whyte hurt before, so once he got up after the count there was no need to panic.
Although Kaboom Rivas is a great finisher, you just got the sense that Whyte still had everything under control. The Jamaican born heavyweight just knows what to do in these situations.
Whyte continued his dominance throughout the rest of the fight, and the bodywork he was putting together earlier really took its toll on Rivas who couldn’t find enough to sustain any significant attacks.
One thing that was quite alarming for Rivas was his eyes. It was worrying to see how quickly Rivas’ eyes swelled up and it was definitely something his cornermen were working on vigorously in between rounds.
Despite that, it was still a really solid performance from both men, and Dillian Whyte is now the WBC interim champion and mandatory for Deontay Wilder.