Whyte vs. Povetkin Fight Preview
By: Oliver McManus
Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp concludes, in its current guise, this coming Saturday (August 22nd) with a Box Office night at Matchroom HQ. Topping the bill is a heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for the interim and diamond WBC heavyweight titles.
With Whyte having to wait around for his crack at the full WBC title, The Body Snatcher will look to remind the governing body just why he is their number one contender. On paper you’d suggest there are few heavyweights with such an impressive resumé over the past few years as Whyte. Champions aside, though even they’ve faced several soft touches, very few heavyweights have racked up such a solid catalogue of wins.
Whilst the names of Dereck Chisora (twice), Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas and Lucas Browne all look good there is more to the tale then the green W on Boxrec suggests. The first contest against Chisora, way back in 2016, highlighted the fragilities of his defense that we all knew existed and Whyte was fortunate to take the split decision; when they met again two years later it was a similar affair with Chisora out-slugging Whyte for large parts of the contest before getting knocked out in the eleventh round.
Against Helenius he looked dreich and dour; against Parker he was wobbly but just about hung on in the end; against Lucas Browne he looked superfluous with a beautiful body shot but, really, Lucas Browne is a very average fighter. There are always signs of brilliance with Whyte and his destructive power is clear for all to see. It’s entertaining, no doubt, and so too is the fact he’s yet to quite put all the pieces together to ensure you’re confident he’ll see out a fight without any danger.
For this contest he has split with Mark Tibbs and teamed up with Xavier Miller: a left field decision but Miller a reputable mentor in his own right. It will be interesting to see the effect Miller has on Whyte’s mentality and how that unfolds on fight night but this could well be the step required to refresh and revitalise Whyte’s renaissance.
Alexander Povetkin is a man that seemingly never ages but will turn 41 on September 2nd. Having been a professional since 2005 it does seem as though Sasha has been there or thereabouts pretty much since the turn of the decade: losses to Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua the only blemishes on his record.
Thanks to wins over Hughie Fury and David Price, Povetkin has managed to angle his way back into vision of the UK boxing fraternity and has impressed in the process. Against Price we saw a real demonstration of the sheer bludgeoning power possessed by the Russian. Yes, Price had marginal success in the opening rounds but as soon as Povetkin landed anything of meaning it was a case of ‘sladkiye mechty’ (sweet dreams) for David Price.
Add to the mix the fact that Povetkin provided, at the time, the sternest test of Anthony Joshua’s career and this fight shapes up to be intriguing. He followed in the footsteps of Whyte in terms of applying pressure to AJ early on and ensuring he was first to the punch, something that Andy Ruiz later capitalised on to greater effect, and had Joshua racking his brain for a good five, six rounds. Ultimately Povetkin hit the canvas twice in the seventh round to see the fight waved off but promising signs were there: can he go one step further against Dillian Whyte and finish the job?
The undercard sees Katie Taylor take on Delfine Persoon for the undisputed lightweight title with ALL the marbles on the line – WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF. Despite Taylor edging their first meeting last June it will likely be the Irish fighter seeking redemption with many onlookers considering her fortunate to retain her titles.
Persoon can harness some Jessica McCaskill’s energy – McCaskill another former opponent of Taylor – who pulled off a stupendous upset Cecilia Braekhaus on August 15th. Belgium’s Persoon has been a long time figurehead of female boxing having been at the top of the game since 2012 but it could well be argued Taylor is the only truly elite fighter she’s ever crossed paths with.
Dillian Whyte Set to Take on Mariusz Wach on Joshua vs Ruiz Undercard
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr was already the biggest boxing events of the year. However, the mega showdown between the two boxing stars that will be vying for Ruiz’s Heavyweight titles, has gotten even bigger with the addition of Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte. The former title challenger will be taking on fringe contender Mariusz Wach on the undercard of the event.
These two big men have been on a collision course for quite some time now. Back in 2017, a contest between them was scheduled to take place but Whyte was forced to withdraw with a foot injury. Since then, their careers have gone in the total opposite direction. Wach suffered three consecutive defeats, albeit to very good opposition in Erkan Teper, Jarrell Miller and Martin Bakole. Give credit to Wach as he has repeatedly taken on stiff competition throughout his career.
Most recently, the 39 year old Wach was last seen in the ring scoring a quick knockout win over the unheralded Giorgi Tamazashvili in October, earlier this year.
As for Whyte, since suffering his lone defeat to Anthony Joshua back in 2015, he has reeled off tenth straight wins. His competition hasn’t been against bottom dwellers either as he has defeated top contender after top contender. Some of his most notable victories are against David Allen, Dereck Chisora (twice), Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne. The latter two were world champions recently in there respective careers.
Whyte’s run up the rankings has been an impressive one, but it has been somewhat sullied as of late. On the 20th of July, earlier this year, Whyte defeated Heavyweight contender Oscar Rivas. After the bout, it was revealed that Whyte failed a drug test but many were under the impression that he did not. It has led to massive confusion around the boxing world as it is unclear whether Whyte failed a test or not.
Still, even with that blimp, Whyte is bonafide Heavyweight contender. He is routinely ranked within the top five of every sanctioning body and has recently been given a mandatory spot for the WBC title in 2021.
When discussing his upcoming contest against Wach, Whyte couldn’t help but express his excitement for not only the fight itself, but also about the opportunity to be fighting in Saudi Arabia on one of the biggest cards ever.
“I’m delighted to be fighting in Saudi Arabia against Mariusz Wach,” said Whyte. “He’s probably got one of the best chins in the Heavyweight division. I have been training and working hard to fight so it’s great to get a date and it’s very exciting for me to be fighting somewhere different like Saudi Arabia. I want to fight in different places and different settings and this card has the biggest Heavyweight fight on it that we have seen in years. I’m just going to keep chasing the World titles, so if I keep winning then I hope to land that World title shot in 2020, that’s the plan for December 7.”
With Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz poised to deliver on one of the best Heavyweight title fights in recent memory, this entire card now stands from head to toe to be one one of the very best of 2019.
Whyte vs. Rivas Sells 289,000 PPVs
By: Shane Willoughby
Earlier this year Barry Hearn said at the press conference for Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas “these fighters have to get paid and if you don’t like it, don’t watch.” Insinuating if you don’t want to pay for the fight, don’t buy it.
Normally when the Hearn family speak fans don’t pay much attention. Unfortunately for Matchroom, this time the fans took Barry Hearns comments seriously. In fact, that statement was put into practice.
Whyte vs Rivas reportedly sold only 289,000 pay-per-views. Which is probably much less than what was expected. Whyte’s last two PPV’s with Parker and Chisora done over 400,000 buys. How is that Whyte’s star power is increasing but his PPV’s have reduced dramatically.
With all due respect to the body-snatcher the lack of box office buys are because of Rivas’ lack of exposure in the UK. With that said, Whyte vs parker sold 474,000. So just under 200,000 people decided that they were not going pay for this fight.
That is a large amount of people. To put that blame solely on the fact that Rivas isn’t a big name in England is quite unfair. Especially when you consider the fact that Eddie Hearn by his own admission put together a ‘monster card’.
And for those who still believe that this is a decent amount of PPV buys. This is the lowest amount of buys Sky Sports have done since 2017. And when you consider the fact that Bellew and Usyk, who is far from a household name in the UK done over 500,000 sells, 289,000 is poor.
So why has Whyte vs Rivas done such bad numbers? Is it because former “slave trader” Barry Hearn gave fans permission to not buy? Maybe, but a more plausible explanation is, the British fans have turned their backs on Matchroom.
Eddie Hearn has clearly prioritised his new American family and has received heavy criticism for abandoning the brits; leaving them with below-par fight nights.
Whyte vs Rivas was Matchroom and Sky Sports first big fight night this year which was staged in the UK. British fans had to wait until July to finally get a card that they had a chance to pay for. Unfortunately, 200,000 people chose not to pay.
With all this on the table, it does evoke quite a few fascinating thoughts. Earlier this year it was released that Whyte was offered a deal from ESPN. And if Furys deal is anything to go by the sum of money was more than appealing. Why did the Brixton man turn it down?
When you realise that the entire card on 27th July grossed under 6 million, Whyte couldn’t have been paid much, relatively speaking. Especially when you have to subsidise a ‘monster card’. Maybe, Whyte should have signed with ESPN after all.
Dillian Whyte’s B Sample Wasn’t Opened
By: Shane Willoughby
There has been a desperate quest by boxing fans for the results of Dillian Whyte’s B sample. As most fans are under the impression that his B sample has been taken and opened by UKAD or the BBBOC.
However, it wasn’t opened before the bout, after the bout or to this day, for testing.
Eddie Hearn was asked in an IFL TV interview the week after Whyte’s bout with Rivas, about Dillian Whyte’s B sample and his response was far from convincing.
“People say that there is a B sample being tested next week, I am not aware of that.” He added, “all I’m aware of is that there was a hearing and he was cleared to fight.”
In another interview, Hearn also spoke about the situation leading up to the fight, after the adverse findings.
“I found out about it [Whyte’s adverse findings] and we were told that he would have to open a B sample or have a hearing.” Hearn added, “this was like a day before the fight, it’s impossible to open a b sample get that done, get that tested etc.”
It appears as if Dillian Whyte never had a B sample opened at all or at least to his promoters knowledge. Instead, Whyte had the option to pick between having a B sample tested or present evidence to a panel and due to how close it was to the fight, opening a B sample wasn’t possible. According to Hearn.
When you look at the fact that it only takes 3 days maximum to get the findings back and it’s been over 3 weeks since the Whyte vs Rivas fight and there still is no further information on the subject. If you also match the fact that with Eddie Hearn stating that he isn’t aware of the sample being opened. It’s fair to assume that Whyte’s B sample has never and may never get tested.
So if the B sample isn’t getting tested, is there even an investigation going on. Because if Whyte passed all VADA’s tests and UKAD and the BBBO also cleared Whyte to fight, who is conducting this investigation, and is there even a chance of Whyte receiving a ban because it appears this situation has met its conclusion.
Scandalous Overview: Heavyweight Dillian Whyte’s “B” Sample Still Under Question
By: Jesse Donathan
Perhaps the biggest scandal of 2019 in professional boxing is currently unfolding as heavyweight Dillian Whyte tested positive for metabolites of the prohibited performance enhancing drug Dianabol prior to his most recent decision victory over Oscar Rivas. The United Kingdom’s own government oversight bodies, United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the British Board of Boxing Control (BBBofC), failed to take action or even notify the Rivas’ camp of their findings prior to the fight in an unconscionable decision that may haunt the oversight bodies for long to come in the future.
According to an August 1, 2019 frankwarren.com article titled, “Where’s the B Sample?” author Frank Warren writes, “The silence surrounding the failed drug test of Dillian Whyte – and the subsequent permission given for him to fight – continues to hold firm.” Warren, a fight manager and promoter to some of the biggest names in the industry including Tyson Fury would go on to write:
“Whatever has taken place in this case and whether there has been “procedural issues”, lawyers have written to most of the media claiming Whyte’s privacy is being invaded, despite the fact he has gone on record himself on a number of occasions accusing some fighters, including Anthony Joshua, of being “Juicers” without providing any proof.”
The Warren report goes on to state, “After making such accusations, I believe he forfeits any right to privacy after he was informed that he himself had tested positive.” The overall tone and focus of Warren’s article being that of one in defense of the circumstances that lead to the news of Whyte’s flagged test result becoming public knowledge in an interesting picture to consider.
Whyte, an intelligent man who is not afraid to speak his mind, had previously summed up former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s troubles in the ring against Andy Ruiz Jr. as being the result of fighting in the United States under the stringent Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing program where obtaining therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) is markedly more difficult to achieve than in the United Kingdom.
Warren, not lost for words on the subject, went on to write, “Thomas Hauser, one of the most respected journalists in the sport has rightly reported on this matter is now being discredited by Eddie Hearn. Yet he fails to elaborate on which points are supposedly wrong.”
According to Warren, “As a leading boxing writer and lawyer, is it right that Hauser has to endure having his reputation trashed for doing his job and bringing this serious matter to the public’s attention and more importantly, to the man most affected by this sorry situation, Rivas?” Indeed, if not for Thomas Hauser, his sources and subsequent reporting, one has to wonder at what point if ever any of this information would have ever come to light.
In the original July 24, 2019 boxingscene.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Banned Substance,” author Thomas Hauser writes, “Under VADA protocols, the positive test result would been reported to the World Boxing Council and Rivas camp. That appears to have not been the case in this instance with UKAD.”
You read that right, UKAD not only allowed the fight to proceed after a positive test from Whyte but failed to notify his opponent who was literally stepping into the ring with his life on the line against a potentially doped fighter.
Referencing an August 1, 2019 boxingscene.com article titled, “Whyte Completes VADA Testing Program – But Not Yet in Clear,” author Jake Donovan writes that both Rivas and Whyte had pre-fight VADA samples collected on July 17 and post-fight samples on July 21, approximately a day after the bout. According to Donovan, VADA had announced the fighters had entered the testing pool on April 26, 2019 and that United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), a separate government body from the prestigious Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) conducted their own distinct drug test from that of the VADA testing program.
Donovan goes on to write, “The remaining question is how his late-June test with UKAD produced the lone adverse finding through 12 weeks of testing with two different agencies. Any such cleared test from either agency would also have to fall within the timeframe the substances in question remain in the human system, which would support Whyte’s case.”
Whyte reportedly tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Dianabol, a banned performance enhancing drug with a half-life of 3 to 5 hours according to a January 17, 2017 anabolic-bible.org article titled, “Dianabol -Methandrostenone.” According to author Jay Nichols, “The half-life of Dianabol is only about 3 to 5 hours, a relatively short time. This means a single daily dosage schedule will produce a varying blood level, with ups and downs throughout the day. The user likewise has a choice, to either split up the tablets during the day or to take them all at one time.”
Nichols goes on to write, “The usual recommendation has been to divide them and try to regulate the concentration in your blood. This however, will produce a lower peak blood level than if the tablets were taken all at once, so there may be a trade off with this option.” One such technique in particular, known a micro-dosing, is a methodology of taking small, barely detectable amounts of performance enhancing drugs in order to reap their rewards while minimizing the potential punitive risks and consequences associated with more commonly used administrative schedules.
Google defines the term half-life as, “The time required for any specified property (e.g. the concentration of a substance in the body) to decrease by half.” So that means if Whyte was theoretically dividing his dosages of Dianabol up in micro-dosages to regulate the concentration in his blood it would take 3-5 hours for that concentration to decrease by half until the concentration halves itself into undetectable levels.
A February 12, 2018 BusinessInsider.com article titled, “Olympians may be taking cues from Silicon Valley’s favorite way to do drugs,” author Eric Brodwin writes, “Testosterone micro-doses may escape regulators’ radar because they only stay in the system for minutes or hours.” Dianabol is of course a modified form of testosterone.
This may be the answer to Donovan’s remaining question, simply put, it’s all a matter of the timing of the test in relation to the amount and last ingestion of the Dianabol itself. With such a short half-life, athletes may be able to pass random tests simply based upon the nature of the drug itself in relation to the timing of the testing. Unless caught within the timeframe it takes for the drug to half itself out of detectable levels through micro-dosing, its theoretically possible to avoid detection altogether under the currently standing conditions.
Both VADA and UKAD would use World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited testing facilities, which means the testing procedures for both individual, separate agencies would be dependent on laboratories that adhere to the same WADA Code of scientific testing procedures and protocols. The adverse finding was not from the prestigious Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) but from the sore thumb in the crowd United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD), which may or may not bring into question the sample chain of custody with UKAD’s Doping Control Officers (DCOs), Blood Collection Officers (BCOs) and Chaperones.
In an August 12 2019 skysports.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte remains determined to clear his name over drug allegations, says Eddie Hearn,” Whyte passed the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) tests both before and after his latest addition to the win column. According to the report, “The British heavyweight faced allegations of a failed UK Anti-Doping A sample following his points win over Oscar Rivas at The O2 in July, but has declared his innocence. The B sample results have not been disclosed.” Whyte, an unusually candid man who is not prone to tell tall tales often may be telling the truth in professing his innocence and there is more going on here than initially meets the eye, but only his team of lawyers and time will ultimately see to how the tale is ultimately told.
According to a July 30, 2019 talksport.com article titled, “Frank Warren slams ‘totally wrong’ handling of Dillian Whyte positive drugs test and says Oscar Rivas should have been told,” author Michael Benson writes that Dillian Whyte had appeared before an “independent panel hearing on fight day and was allowed to compete.”
One has to question the efficacy of such a panel hearing on of all days, fight night, after television and pay-per-view rights had already been negotiated, venues booked, tickets purchased etc. For a main event fight to be cancelled at the very last second would literally mean tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, in lost revenue and likely lawsuits for some time to come into the future. In other words, it would have been a disastrous turn of events and thus one not likely to have occurred as a result.
According to Talksport.com, “There was a hearing, if you have a problem with that hearing, speak to the national UKAD government agency or whatever, Hearn said.”
With Dillian Whyte in the spotlight, all eyes are on UKAD and the BBBofC as UKAD, the less prestigious of the two agencies actively monitoring Dillian Whyte’s performance enhancing drug use produced the lone positive result yet sanctioned the fight anyway. With UKAD for all intents and purposes being the long arm of the BBBofC, the government agencies are two pigs in a blanket in this growing controversy.
Subsequently, news of Whyte’s flagged test result managed to leak out to the press through multiple unknown sources with direct knowledge to the situation according to Hauser’s original report with a short list of potential suspects who could have been privileged to that information. The B sample results, which would either confirm or bring into question the results of the original A sample are being withheld, leaving many to question the motives behind the lack of transparency, perhaps even striking at the very integrity of the governing bodies themselves.
Whyte was allowed to compete despite a flagged test result for performance enhancing drugs by government bodies whose responsibility it is to protect the health and safety of its athletes. With boxers Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan recently dying within a week of each other as a result of injuries sustained in the ring, the fact UKAD and BBBofC allowed this fight to commence without informing the Rivas camp prior to the fight is an unconscionable decision that is now under intense scrutiny. And the subsequent refusal to release Whyte’s B sample is only adding fuel to the fire in what may very well prove to be 2019’s most scandalous report in professional boxing.
About the author: Jesse Donathan is the UFC correspondent for BoxingInsider.com and contributing editor to MMAPressRoom.com. A longtime fan of both boxing and mixed martial arts, Jesse’s first published combat sport reports were in 2009 and he was written for a number of outlets to include most recently BoxingInsider.com, Boxing.com and Fightpost.co.uk. Follow Jesse on Twitter @the_mmapress and @MMAPressRoom for up-to-date news and current events in combat sports.
Heavyweight Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Dianabol Metabolites
By: Jesse Donathan
Not long after a full moon lit up the surrounding landscape here in the United States, the mass hysteria has once again returned to the combat sports community upon the news of yet another heavyweight testing positive for banned performance enhancing drug (PED) use. A habitual problem transcending sports, somehow the narrative is still perpetuated that the vast majority of athletes are clean and its only a few evil doers ruining the sport for everybody else. Yet, time and time again athletes repeatedly test positive on a near monthly basis for banned prohibited substances.
As of July 24, 2019, Boxingscene.com is reporting that an “A-sample” extracted from heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) prior to Whyte’s scheduled July 20th bout with Oscar Rivas resulted in a positive test for metabolites of the banned performance enhancing drug Dianabol. An anabolic steroid with androgenic effects, Dianabol is also known as “DBol” on the streets.
According to a July 25th, 2019 article titled, “Dillian Whyte tested positive for two metabolites of Dianabol,” author Thomas Hauser writes that, “The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) was advised by UKAD prior to Whyte-Rivas that Whyte had tested positive for epimethandienone and hydroxymethandienone. However, it allowed the fight to proceed as scheduled without notifying the Rivas Camp of the finding.” The report went on to note that Whyte’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, released the following statement:
“Further to reports, I can confirm that both Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas were subject to extensive VADA and UKAD testing for their bout. Both fighters were cleared to fight by both bodies and the BBBofC.”
Whyte, also known as the “Body Snatcher,” is an unusually candid pugilist, who famously quipped that the reason why former champion Anthony Joshua wasn’t feeling himself in the ring the night he lost to champion Andy Ruiz Jr. was because he was competing in the United States under stricter anti-doping testing procedures than that of the United Kingdom.
“It is because you’re in America with the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) testing and you’re not on the juice, that’s why,” said Whyte. Continuing, Dillian went on to insinuate that, “It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) in American than the UK.”
Back in March, heavyweight Jarrell Miller infamously ran into problems with VADA himself according to an April 20, 2019 ESPN article titled, “Sources: ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed three drug tests,” by author Dan Raphael. Miller reportedly tested positive for the banned prohibited substances GW1516, EPO and human growth hormone (HGH) according to reports. Hearn, who famously had a lot to say to iFL TV following news of Miller’s flagged test results, appears less chatty at the moment as the curtain is pulled back revealing the inner workings of an inept system of governance in boxing.
News of Whyte’s positive test couldn’t have come at a worse time either, boxers Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan both died earlier this week as a result of an accumulation of blows received inside the squared circle. A fact which may or may not exacerbate any consequences sure to come Whyte’s way from the very same people who turned a blind eye to his flagged test results to begin with, allowing him to step into the ring in the first place despite the fact they had advanced knowledge of his positive test results. Which is the real story here, the fight was allowed to continue despite the BBBC being notified by UKAD in conjunction with VADA that Whyte had flagged positive for performance enhancing drug use.
They had prior knowledge, yet unlike in the case of Jarrell Miller who was pulled by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) after his positive tests, astonishingly, the British boxing authorities allowed the fight to move forward as planned despite the flagged test results. In Millers wake, in stepped Andy Ruiz Jr. on short notice to face the seemingly unbeatable Anthony Joshua, and the rest is history as they say, as Ruiz Jr. shocked the world in route to upsetting the statue-esk British champion.
“Under rules in place in the United Kingdom, Whyte has a right of appeal,” writes Thomas Hauser in his July 24, 2019 Boxingscene.com article titled, “Dillian Whyte Tests Positive for Banned Substance.” According to the report, “UKAD takes the position that, until the adjudication process is over and due process is complete, there has not been a finding that a fighter is in breach of its PED protocols and no sanctions can be put in place by the British Boxing Board of Control.”
Meaning, as far as the BBBC and UKAD are concerned until Whyte has exhausted his appeals process the matter is still as of yet unresolved. Which for those paying attention means the BBBC and UKAD are allowing fighters using performance enhancing drugs to compete against presumably clean fighters despite any concerns about the safety of the fighters or sanctity of sport coming into the bout.
“Ruiz Jr has consistently pushed for the second fight (with Joshua) to be held in New York again and news of Whyte’s reported failed drug test has riled the Mexican,” writes Coral Barry in her July 25, 2019 Metro article titled, “Andy Ruiz Jr will refuse to rematch Anthony Joshua in the UK amid Dillian Whyte doping allegations.” And who can blame him? After Whyte’s positive test, Whyte’s allegations about Joshua receiving a TUE in the UK and the UK’s own insane PED policies Ruiz Jr. would be a mad man himself to step foot in the UK under these current conditions.
The United States is not without its own problems in the world of performance enhancing drug use and sanctioning bodies that look the other way, with both the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) having licensed UFC fighter Jon Jones to fight despite a-typical drug test results according to reports. Famed boxing trainer and ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas has called for a national commission to combat the perceived impropriety in professional boxing, though after Dillian Whyte’s latest run in with UKAD and BBBC maybe its time to start thinking internationally.
Dillian Whyte: Patience is a Virtue
By: Hans Themistode
With 16 wins in his first 16 fights as a professional, British Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte was on the right track. His 17th pro fight however, did not go as planned.
Anthony Joshua, was being lined up as boxing’s next big star. Whyte, who was viewed as an underdog going into that contest owned a knockout victory over his rival in the amateurs. That proved too mean very little as Whyte was knocked out in the seventh round of their contest. Whyte did do a few good things in that contest but was clearly overmatched.
When a fighter losses for the first time in their career, often times they take several years of soft touches before elevating their level of competition. Dillian Whyte on the other hand, is not your typical fighter.
Following his loss to Joshua, he jumped right into the thick of things as he fought against, then undefeated David Allen, and the always competitive Dereck Chisora. By the way, he fought and defeated them in the same calendar year.
Whyte followed up those impressive wins with a victory over Robert Helenius and former champion Lucas Browne. The latter was stopped in the sixth round and given the first loss of his career. Whyte look on even more challenges as he came up against another former champion in Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora once again and most recent Oscar Rivas.
While Whyte was defeating stiff challenge after stiff challenge, he began to call out every champion in the division, most notably, WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. There have been fighters who have accomplished considerably less who have been given multiple cracks at a world title. Whyte has even gone the route of public shaming. Condemning the WBC for passing him up on his chance for gold.
His public cries were heard loud and clear as his last bout was sanctioned for the WBC interim title. He now will have his date with Wilder in just a few months. No one deserves it more than Whyte. After getting past a murderous row of competition, he finally has his chance once again.
When Whyte tasted defeat, he was a 27 year old boy with very little experience. Four years later he is a 31 year old man and wise beyond his years. Wilder, of course, has his own issues to deal with. A rematch with Luis Ortiz in the fall, followed by another rematch with Tyson Fury in the first half of 2020.
Provided he gets through those men, on the other side, Whyte will be awaiting him. He has earned his position, and will now look to prove to the world that he does have what it takes to become a world champion.
What’s Next for Dillian Whyte?
By: Shane Willoughby
With a shot at the WBC title basically guaranteed, what does Dillian Whyte do next?
After his impressive UD win over Oscar Rivas, Whyte is now mandatory for Wilder’s title and is due to fight for the belt in around about 10 to 12 months.
Naturally, we all think that he should sit tight and wait for the shot. However, we have seen fighters like Sterverne and Breazeale sit around, inactive until the mandatory is called and they both got the same treatment. Not to say they would have won if they were active, but I can’t see how going into a Wilder fight with ring rust is beneficial.
With that said we have seen Whyte take some really big gambles with his number 1 position in his past 5 fights which could have been to his detriment.
Whyte was seriously hurt by Helenius, dropped by Parker in the last round, down on the cards against Chisora in the 11th and dropped by Rivas in the 9th.
The body snatcher is constantly taking risky fights which he doesn’t need to do. And by his own admission when you fight good fighters you’re going to lose.
So, with all of that in mind, does he take a risky fight before he gets his shot next year? The most common answer is probably no.
Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn has spoken about getting him out again in November or December, but against what kind of opponent?
Whilst many say Whyte shouldn’t take another risk, as the Brit loves to remind us, he only had 7 amateur fights and it’s been these risky fights that have made him so battle-hardened and it’s really propelled his progress.
It’s very difficult to learn from an easy fight so maybe the WBC interim champion decides to test his metal again. As the saying goes, steel sharpens steel.
However, it would be extremely naive for Whyte to into another 50/50. However, I do agree with Hearn, when he says he wants to get Whyte out again. But against Who?
As it stands, Whyte is most likely going to be fighting Wilder however, there is a chance it also could be Fury or Ortiz, depending on results. With this in mind, it would be fantastic to see Whyte fight someone tall again.
Other than Helenius, who he fought in 2017, the Body-snatcher hasn’t come up against anyone over 6ft 4. Which isn’t great preparation for a Wilder or Fury who both stand excess of 6ft 7.
So a fight against a tall heavyweight will be a good test. If I was Eddie Hearn the person I’ll be pushing for the most is Gerald Washington.
Washington is 6ft 6, one inch shorter than Wilder and is coming off a knockout win against one of Whyte’s previous opponents Robert Helenius. Also, the American has been in the ring with some top fighters and given them some really good work, including Wilder.
Not only is Washington the right dimensions and a very good mover across the ground like Fury and the Bronze Bomber, but if Whyte can beat him in better fashion than the current WBC champion did it could give him a psychological boost.
To top it off Washington is somewhat of a known quantity to the American boxing public so it could be a good coming out fight for Whyte in the States. He shouldn’t cause Whyte any major upsets but could be good prep.
Whyte Picks Up a Wide Points Victory of Rivas
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.
Whyte vs. Rivas Fight Preview
By: Shane Willoughby
It is rare to see a fight where there are so many variables and scenarios that all could take place. Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas is definitely one of those fights. This a real 50/50.
However, the thing that makes the fight even more interesting is the unknown surrounding Oscar Rivas.
Everyone knows what Whyte is all about. A big punching, come forward, physically imposing boxer puncher. We have seen the Body-snatcher at times fight off the back foot, working behind a really good jab, but no matter how the fight is going, eventually he is going to get into a scrap.
That catch and counter with the left hook is arguably one of the most dangerous weapons in the division, and when Whyte rips off his sharp shots to the body he really wears down his opponent’s.
However, we have seen Whyte hurt several times; down on the card, down on the canvas and even knocked out. The guy is definitely battle-hardened; there isn’t a scenario we haven’t seen Whyte in.
Rivas on the other hand, there are many unanswered questions. We know he has very good combinations and a really good engine.
He rips off punches at close range really well with really quick hands. We also know he is well-schooled being a former Olympian.
However, we haven’t seen Rivas have to go to war. Majority of his fights is fought at his pace but against Whyte, the Colombian is going to be asked to work when he wants to rest.
Another unknown is how well does Rivas take a punch? Whilst he did take all Jennings threw at him, Jennings has never been a prolific power puncher, and we haven’t seen Rivas against any real bangers.
When you mix all these ingredients into the pot, it’s difficult to pick a winner however, there are some scenarios that are extremely likely.
Do not be surprised to see either man on the canvas or, maybe both men might face a count. If either man feels like they are down on the cards they are going to go for broke, which could result in a knockout either way.
Something else which is quite probable, is both men could be extremely fatigued at the end of the fight. With Dillians extra weight, it’s going to be ridiculously energy-sapping for Rivas to physically impose himself which he loves to do.
The Colombian has never had to fight off the back foot for prolonged periods of time so, it would be interesting to see what happens to Rivas when he tired.
Time and time again we have seen Whyte absolutely knackered in fights.
What will be interesting to see is how well does Rivas’ eye’s hold up after he gets hit? The man has had countless surgeries and his previous issues with his eyes could come back to haunt him. That is just something we should keep an eye out for during the bout. No pun intended.
One scenario I cant see happening is Rivas winning on points. It would not be a surprise if Rivas stopped Whyte but a decision win will be a shock to me.
Not only will he be in away territory, but if the British fighter is down on the cards I can only see him emptying the tank which will only result in some getting knocked out.
Whatever happens on Saturday, it will be a fantastic spectacle and whilst it may start slow, eventually, it’s going to turn into a war.
Is Whyte Looking for Extra Strength?
By: Shane Willougby
Dillian Whyte has officially weighed in at just underneath 260lbs ahead of his clash with Oscar Rivas, which is the 2nd heaviest he has ever weighed ahead of a fight.
Whyte stands at 6ft 4 inches which is 4 inches shorter than David Price but, still managed to weigh in 4lbs heavier than his British counterpart.
The body-snatcher went into the Chisora fight weighing 247lbs but has decided to put on an extra 12lbs for this fight.
Hearing that weight at first, sounds very alarming and probably too heavy. However, this is very similar to what he came in against Joseph Parker where he weighed 258.
Many will say that the extra weight worked in his favour as he was able to manhandle and impose himself against the former world champion. However, we saw Whyte look extremely slow in the first two rounds and then fatigue down the stretch. Whereas against Chisora in his last bout he was able to maintain a decent pace for 11 rounds and then get the stoppage.
Could the Brixton man be looking to employ the same tactic he did against Parker? It definitely could be a variable in this fight as Rivas came in 20lbs lighter and is 4 inches shorter than Whyte. The body snatcher said ‘that weight won’t be an issue for this fight’ and he added ‘when I’m over 18st (252lbs) I feel really strong’.
However, could this extra weight could also be down to a lack of preparation? It would be a sin for Whyte to be overlooking Rivas but with all the chaos surrounding the WBC and the interim title, this could have affected Whyte’s camp.
The weights and sizes both fighters come into this 50/50 clash has always been an interesting aspect to the bout. Because we have seen many vulnerabilities from the WBC number 1 contender when he is high in weight. Most of them surrounding his stamina and speed.
In addition to this, it also appeared as if Whyte had the flu or blocked nose at the press conference as his speech was quite muffled. This also could affect his cardiovascular on fight night.
However, how does Rivas deal with someone that much heavier than him? To be giving up 20lbs in weight is extremely difficult especially for someone like Rivas who likes to dictate the pace. Also, if there is one thing we know about Whyte is he will impose himself throughout the fight. so how will the Colombian hold out?
How are Rivas’ Eyes?
By: Shane Willoughby
Yesterday’s staredown between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas at the press conference was as fierce as it gets. Both fighters looking deep into the other’s eyes.
Which reminded me of one unspoken variable that may play a massive part in this fight. How are Rivas’ eyes?
For those who don’t know Oscar Rivas has had a long and gruelling career and hasn’t really gotten his break out fight. That’s not down to lack of ability but misfortune.
Throughout his career, he has been wriggled with eye injuries. He has been denied a licence from commissions in the past for this exact reason, and up until last year, the majority of his fights were in Canada. As that’s the only place he could get licenced.
In 2016 his fight with Gerald Washington was cancelled as he failed an eye exam and California state athletic commission refused him a licence for a damaged retina.
With that said the Colombian has fought since then, in New York earlier this year against Bryant Jennings and had no problem getting licenced or winning the fight.
Ahead of this fight, this had to be a worry for team Rivas, as the BBBOC is a commission known for being extremely strict and this is definitely Rivas’ chance at the big time.
Despite the possible concerns, Rivas passed all the BBBOC tests and is eligible to fight this Saturday.
With that, said how does his eye’s hold up? Many fighters over the years have passed eye exams with the BBBOC, but have had problems with their vision during the fight.
Oscar Rivas didn’t appear to have any problems with his eyes in the last bout against Jennings. However, he wasn’t hit flush with any good punches.
It would be a massive surprise if he could go throughout the entire fight without getting hit cleanly by Whyte. And if he does get hit by one of the body-snatches big punches what effects will it have.
We have seen fighters in recent years like Anthony Ogogo and Kell Brook suffer stoppages due to dangerous eye injuries in the middle of fights. Could this be the case for Rivas?
Whyte vs Chisora 2 Reportedly Sold 438,000 Pay Per View Buys
By: Shane Willoughby
With Dillian Whyte’s bout against Oscar Rivas scheduled for Sky Sports box office, it’s a perfect time to look at how well Whyte vs Chisora ll done on PPV.
Whyte vs Chisora 2 reportedly sold 438,000 PPV buys on Sky Sports. Which is a little short of the million buys Hearn was hoping for.
Whilst it didn’t do as well as many were expecting as it’s less than Whyte’s previous PPV against Joseph Parker; it’s still a good amount of buys?
Financially it’s very solid, generating just under £9million. It’s unprecedented for two fighters who have never held a world title to generate that amount money and sell that much PPV.
Not to mention the fact that it clashed with Frampton vs Warrington and being 3 days before Christmas.
It may have even done more buys than Wilder vs Fury on BT sports but the PPV numbers for that fight haven’t officially been released. Make of that what you will.
With all of that said, Can Whyte vs Rivas do more buys? The obvious answer is no. But with this being Matchroom’s first mega-event taking place in the UK this year, the British boxing fans are desperate for a big fight.
Which introduces another question. Could the body snatcher replace Anthony Joshua? After AJ’s loss to Ruiz most English fight fans are lost in the wilderness – searching for a fighter to provide some form of sustenance.
In addition to that, most of Britain’s top fighters are fighting stateside. This leaves a massive void for someone to fill. Could that be Dillian Whyte?
The WBC number 1 contender will be hoping to exactly that and an impressive win over the tough Columbian Oscar Rivas will be a great start.
Dillian Whyte Suggests Joshua Couldn’t ‘juice’ Due to VADA Testing
By: Michael Kane
Dillian Whyte has had his say on former opponent Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night in New York.
Many observers felt Joshua was out of sorts with reports that Joshua’s father wanted him to pull out of the fight beforehand.
Joshua also seemed overly gracious in defeat, in what some have construed as a relief that the pressure of being champion was now gone.
It seems Whyte picked up on this.
“He seemed scared, not bothered, he was running, he was jabbing out of range, he was retreating, he had his left hand down,” he said on his official YouTube channel.
“When he got hurt he didn’t know whether to hold or tie up. He seemed like he wasn’t bothered, like he didn’t want to be there.
“Maybe he couldn’t deal with the pressure anymore, he just seemed like he was there to collect his money. He said he was the landlord but he failed to collect the rent.”
Whyte then suggested an all together different theory that due to Joshua fighting in America and VADA testing in place he couldn’t use Therapeutic Use Exception (TUE) and that was in fact the reason he didnt show up.
“He said to his coach ‘why do I feel like this?’, because you’re in America with the VADA testing and you’re not on the juice that’s why,” Whyte said.
“It’s harder to get therapeutic use exemptions in America than the UK, that’s why.”
Whyte feels Joshua will ultimately come back and will avenge his defeat against Ruiz Jr.
“He’ll live and learn, at the end of the day I’ve had a loss, he’s big and strong enough to come back, he’s an olympic champion, former world champion, he’ll be back bigger and stronger,” Whyte said.
“I still believe he will beat Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch, you need to look at his camp, he needs to look at what he did wrong, where he went wrong.
“He’s got a very experienced camp with Rob McCracken behind him. Maybe he should have gone to America two months or a month before the fight, you don’t know.”
Photo credit Dillian Whyte Twitter account
Wilder to Face Ortiz, Opens Up Fury Against Whyte Later in Year
By: Michael Kane
Deontay Wilder used social media to announce his next opponent over night.
He will face Luis Ortiz later in the year in a rematch, they both faced each other in March 2018, in a bout in which Ortiz had Wilder rattled only to be knocked out in the 10th round.
This announcement puts any potential rematch with Tyson Fury or a unification fight with Anthony Joshua back until next year at the earliest.
Wilder v Ortiz II 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
To all my fans,
I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly.
All my controversial fights
Must get dealt with ASAP‼️#BombZquad pic.twitter.com/RZs7vLEhaj
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) May 28, 2019
Joshua, who is preparing in New York for his U.S debut on Saturday said recently that he wanted face to face talks with Wilder to try and thrash a deal out, Joshua was expected to call out Wilder if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) May 28, 2019
There is pressure from fans, especially in the UK for Joshua and Fury to face the best, if no deal can be made for either to face Wilder, could we see the two meet each other? Unlikely at this stage. Both are with different TV companies in the UK and U.S.
The fighter who could win from this situation is Dillian Whyte should he beat Oscar Rivas next month. It seems a fight between Whyte and Fury could be next on the cards with Eddie Hearn saying a deal had been done. Although it would seem Eddie Hearn was talking with his tongue firmly in his cheek in an effort to get Fury to face Whyte.
“It’s very likely that the Oscar Rivas fight will be for the interim WBC title, and then we have confirmed we are happy to fight Tyson Fury next,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“Because he came out and said he will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt, so, we wrote to the WBC and said, ‘Great news, Tyson Fury will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt’. So, we’re in for that now.
“After (Whyte) beats Rivas, he will become the mandatory (for Wilder). That’s what we requested, but Deontay will be allowed another fight in October or whenever he’s going to fight, and we’ll fight Fury next, and then after Dillian beats Fury, he’ll fight Wilder.”
Tyson Fury’s coach, Ben Davison has said that Fury won’t fight a final eliminator but that a fight with Whyte would make sense if they can’t tie down Wilder or Joshua.
Davison told metro.co.uk, “Dillian Whyte stylistically is not the toughest fight for Tyson, but with that being said, Tyson’s not going to fight a final eliminator, that’s ridiculous.
“He’s the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and everyone knows he beat Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion of the world. Why would he have to fight a final eliminator? That’s the bad bit of it.
“But, Tyson is chasing fights with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua and if those fights can’t be made, don’t get it twisted, we’d gladly make that match-up with Dillian Whyte.”