DILLIAN WHYTE WINS! The Body Snatcher picks himself up from the canvas to end Oscar Rivas’ undefeated record by unanimous decision… sending partisan home crowd – including Jose Mourinho – wild at O2
- Dillian Whyte ended Oscar Rivas’ undefeated record with a points victory
- After 12 breathless rounds Whyte is the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder
- Whyte was knocked to the canvas in the ninth round but was not badly hurt
Dillian Whyte stared defeat and disaster in the face. After a huge uppercut sent him crashing to the canvas, his four-year unbeaten run – and with it his hopes of a long-awaited world title shot – hung by a thread.
It seemed his perilous run down the gauntlet had unravelled at the final hurdle.
But as he has done so often in recent years, he found something, from somewhere to keep himself in the mix. Now, after 12 brutal, breathless rounds against Oscar Rivas on Saturday, he is the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder.
Dillian Whyte ended Oscar Rivas’ undefeated record with a win at the O2 Arena in London
After breathless rounds on Saturday, Whyte is the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder
You’d be brave to bet against him after this.
‘We’ll see what happens,’ Whyte said. ‘A lot of things get said in boxing but not a lot happens.
‘Mandatory could mean I have to wait another 600 days. We are looking to fight November or December time after a rest.
‘Everyone has written me off but I keep showing up and out-boxing top fighters.’
As ever with Whyte, it was messy and frantic at times. He doesn’t do things the easy way. But after climbing off the floor in round nine, he rallied to take a deserved unanimous decision.
Rivas was game, aggressive and vulnerable. He pushed Whyte to the limit but simply couldn’t keep the self-styled Lone Wolf down. Whyte is going nowhere. Not yet, anyway.
It was Rivas who started the quicker before Whyte sparked an immediate turning of the tide in round two with a huge right hand that made Rivas’ legs do a funny dance.
Whyte poses for a photo with trainer, Mark Tibbs, following victory over Rivas
A huge uppercut from Rivas sent Whyte crashing to the canvas in the ninth round on Saturday
Whyte went in for the kill, roared on by a home crowd baying for blood, only for Rivas to weather the storm and land some heavy shots of his own before the bell. It was a round that lit the blue touch paper and laid the foundations for a firefight.
The action rarely relented and midway through the sixth, British heavyweight legend Frank Bruno rose to his feet, willing his countryman on.
But when Rivas found a home with a thunderous uppercut in the ninth, Whyte was all alone. Still badly shaken, he fought fire with fire as Rivas went for the jugular, lifting the crowd but leaving himself open to more assaults.
Both men were out on their feet by the final session, when Rivas threw everything at Whyte. But nothing, no right hand, no left hand, no stray elbow could halt Whyte’s march.
He was rightly awarded the decision, with scores of 115-112 twice and 116-111 reflecting that he was a tight, but definitive winner. The Lone Wolf still has some bite. Just.
Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watched on from the stands
Mourinho, who is currently out of work, covers his face in the crowd at London’s O2 Arena