By Kenny Leavett – Dillian Whyte believes he showed his ‘warrior spirit’ by taking the Oscar Rivas fight and admits defeat is unthinkable if he wants to finally secure a world title shot.
The “BodySnatcher” agreed a high stakes heavyweight clash with Rivas at The O2 this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, even though he is within touching distance of a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
In Rivas, the South Londoner faces an unbeaten Colombian with 18 knockouts in 26 wins, but Whyte insists he is relishing another violent encounter after wins over Lucas Browne, Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora.
Whyte speaking to the media has been quoted as saying “It’s a massive gamble, he’s a dangerous guy,”
“He’s very, very experienced, very well-schooled as well, and he can punch. He’s motivated as well. He looks strong.”
Asked why he wanted the Rivas fight, Whyte went onto say: “That’s me, I’m a warrior by nature and by spirit. In my life, everything about me says warrior. I know how to do it. That’s what I do best.”
The 31-year-old from Brixton will now earn the right to challenge the winner of Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury if he can defeat Oscar Rivas in a WBC final eliminator with the interim belt now on the line on Saturday night.
Whyte had been forced to wait for a fight against WBC champion Wilder, despite his status as the WBC’s No 1 ranked contender, while he could not agree terms for a rematch with Joshua.
Questioned about the possibility of a defeat, he replied: “Hell no. There’s no losing round here. I will knock Rivas out. It’s just a matter of when and what round I will knock him out.
“I never try and give myself a time, but I’ve got a gut feeling already I’ll knock him out. He’s going to be tough, he’s going to be strong, he’s going to keep coming. I’m going to knock him out.”
But Rivas, who brutally stopped Bryant Jennings last time out in January, is keen to show why he is the man to stake his own claim for a world title challenge.
“It is the fight I’ve been working towards and wanting for such a long time,” said Rivas.
“Now I’ve got this chance, I’ve got to make the best possible use of it and the most of this opportunity.
“That’s what I’m here for now to show what I can do and what I’m capable of.
“I prepared really, really well for the Jennings’ fight. I want to put on a very good show on the 20th July, I hope that it’s a real spectacle, a real show.”