Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas on July 20 at The O2 in a headlining 12-round heavyweight contest.
Having fought all but one of his first 25 fights in his native Canada, it wasn’t until his surprise win over Bryant Jennings in America this year that the world learnt the name of Oscar Rivas and deemed him to be a real force in the heavyweight division.
So BBN set out to discover 10 interesting facts that you might not already know about the Columbian:
In the amateurs, a young Rivas racked up many notable scalps, such as two-time American champ Mike Wilson at a PanAm qualifier in 2007; Gerardo Bisbal, who is set to make his professional debut imminently; he qualified for the 2008 Olympics through the second American qualifier with a 16:4 victory over Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr, who just dethroned Anthony Joshua to become the unified world heavyweight champion.
At the Beijing 2008 Olympics he upset European champion Kubrat Pulev, Bulgaria, winning 11:5, but lost to Italian world champion and eventual Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle.
He also unashamedly lost to some of the world’s elite in Olympic Bronze medalist Michel López Núñez at the 2006 Caribbean Games; to Cuban Robert Alfonso twice in 2007, who is currently undefeated in 18 bouts as a pro; he lost in the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships to Vyacheslav Glazkov, a world title contender who was forced to withdraw through injury in the third round of his IBF world title challenge to Charles Martin in 2016; at the first Olympic qualifier in March 2008 he lost to American Michael Hunter Jr.
He personally said of his amateur career, “I fought every good amateur super-heavyweight of the time, especially in South America. I won silver at the Pan-American games in Brazil, silver at the 2008 American Olympic qualifiers, gold at the 2008 Pan-Am games and in 2008 at the Olympics I beat Kubrat Pulev, 11-5 decision, but I lost 9-5 to the champion Roberto Cammarelle.”
He is very fit, has a high output and heavy hands – 18 KO’s from 26 victories. He has an overhand right that can ice opponents out cold, it’s one of his best shots. He is very quick, sharp and accurate with his punches and likes to throw in twos, usually throwing the first to line up the second. He has a killer instinct and knows when his opponent is in trouble and quickly goes in for the kill.
When quizzed about his own style, he said, “I’m physically strong but I can box. I can do a little bit of everything in a boxing ring. My best punch is my left hook.”
Kaboom is 6ft 1” and has a reach of 76½”.
He has boxed 107 rounds from a scheduled 198.
He has 18 Kos from 26 victories, resulting in a 69% KO ratio.
The combined record of his 26 opponents including forthcoming challenger Dillian Whyte stands at 419-220-14.
He has taken the ‘0’ from three of his opponents’ record – Zsolt Zathureczky (3-0), Jeremiah Karpency (12-0-1) and Fabio Maldonado (26-0).
In his 26-fight professional boxing career, he has defeated a world title contender; WBO International champion; a USBA heavyweight titlist; Pennsylvania State heavyweight champion; a Sao Paulo State heavywight champ; a Belgian national champion; WBC Youth Inter-Continental, WBC Youth world, WBC Latino and WBC Francophone heavyweight titlist; European title contender;
According to his team, Tyson Fury considered Rivas as his next opponent but declined to make an offer, opting for Tom Schwarz instead.
Although Oscar Rivas was ahead on the two of three scorecards against Bryant Jennings in January 2019, he took the decision out of the judges’ hands with a dramatic last gasp KO inside the first minute of the final round.
The South American is the No.1 ranked boxer in Columbia and is also ranked with all four governing bodies: WBC #10; WBA #6; IBF #7; and WBO #5.
Oscar has collected these belts so far in his career: NABF heavyweight, WBO NABO, and the IBF International title.
His promoter is Yvon Michel, who’s promotional outfit is GYM, and his trainer is Marc Ramsey.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Not very well travelled, he has fought 23 times in his native country Canada and twice in the neighbouring States, although he did journey nearby to our shores when he defeated Gabriel Enguema over 10-rounds in France in 2017.
This is not a reflection on Rivas, however. He learnt his trade at home, racking up an impressive record in his home nation and when a big fight came calling in the States, he took his shot and nailed it! Now, he comes to the UK with staunch plans to do the very same thing to Dillian Whyte. We can expect to see the Columbia-born Canadian packing his bags to fight all over the world from now on.
He lists his boxing hero as Antonio Cervantes, a two-time world super-lightweight champion from Columbia and he rates Anthony Joshua as the best heavyweight on the planet right now, with Tyson Fury a close second.