Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas Prediction – Expert Fight Analysis
Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) vs. Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs)
When: Saturday, July 20, 2019
Where: O2 Arena, London, England
Weight Class: Heavyweights: 12 Rounds
Betting Odds: Dillian Whyte (-700), Oscar Rivas (+460)
Heavyweights take center stage in London on July 20, as top contender Dillian Whyte battles unbeaten up-and-comer Oscar Rivas in an important bout between big men. With each man boasting 18 knockouts, this bout promises to feature some heavy hitting and furious exchanges. Whyte, the better-known and more-accomplished commodity, looks to further crystallize his top-contender status with another big win in his homeland. The Colombian Rivas, however, has been making some noise of his own and looks to punch his ticket to the big-time with a win in this fight. Who will get the upper hand at the O2 Arena on July 20?
Whyte would appear to be the top-ranked heavyweight in the world among fighters not holding championship hardware. A former kickboxer and MMA fighter, Whyte is on a nine-fight winning streak since his loss to champion Anthony Joshua. And that wasn’t an easy fight for the juggernaut Joshua, as he was hurt badly during their December 2015 bout, before AJ ended it in the 7th round. Subsequent wins over Dereck Chisora (twice), Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne, and Joseph Parker have boosted Whyte’s stock. He has this one last hurdle to leap before he gets what should be a world title opportunity.
Rivas, the same age as Whyte at 31, had a nice amateur background, beating top heavyweights Andy Ruiz, Jr. and Kubrat Pulev in the unpaid ranks. His pro career is already a decade old, and he’s starting to make some noise. He scored his biggest pro win in January with a final round TKO over former title challenger Bryant Jennings. For the most part, he has been toiling in anonymity, waiting for his first big shot. He gets it here, but make no mistake, this qualifies as a quantum leap in competition.
Whyte has been much more exposed to big-time boxing, with a slew of big fights in his boxing-crazy homeland. He is at home in London, with Rivas having fought most of his fights in Quebec, with a few scattered fights in other locations, including a 2017 win in France. Whyte has beaten at least a dozen fighters that eclipse any of Rivas’ opponents. So this is a level where Whyte is a proven winner, whereas Rivas is an unproven commodity. That doesn’t mean, however, that Rivas is without hope.
While Rivas has mainly been out of the public eye, he has been getting better. A compact six-footer who weights between 235-240 pounds, he is indeed strong. Footage of his fights shows Rivas mauling a variety of different opponents. He can hit and is very aggressive—a good overall athlete. But when looking at the guys Whyte has thrived against, Rivas’ opposition looks pretty soft in comparison. Can he do to Whyte what he has done against a lesser collection of opponents?
Whyte looked brutal in his last fight—a scary knockout of rival Dereck Chisora in December. A few fights before that, he absolutely destroyed unbeaten Lucas Browne. His recent form shows a fighter who is really doing serious damage—and that’s against fighters with better resumes and credentials than the man he is facing in this fight. Whyte appears to have hit his prime. He’s a big man with a lot of coordination and talent, not to mention the ability to land howitzer shots from a variety of angles and distances. He is very professional inside the ring, with a fine jab and understanding of the nuances of the sport. He has been winded in fights, but always seems to have gas in the tank.
Whyte, however, does get winded from time to time. He sometimes enters the ring in various states of condition. But he has a good vision of the fight and can use a high work rate to edge rounds in his favor. He can let bombs fly, but also fight in a more measured manner. Over the last few years, he has added different layers of sophistication to his overall game. He’s not a fighter who is going to undermine himself. There is a certain level of unflappability and resolve that he now shows.
Rivas is not without hope, and when looking for an upset-candidate, you like to see some punching-power, which Rivas indeed has. But there is a political angle in which to account that could play a role here. Whyte is firmly the A-side in this fight. Promoters and the powers-that-be have a lot riding on Whyte, who could figure into some lucrative fights coming down the pike. They haven’t been building Whyte up for years to see it all come to a screeching halt against the likes of Rivas. Granted, it’s hard picturing this one going 12 rounds, taking some possible shenanigans out of play, but let’s just say no one is going to make this easy on Rivas.
Rivas isn’t a small heavyweight in terms of poundage perhaps, but at just over six feet tall, he will be dealing with a size deficit in this fight, with Whyte flaunting advantages in height and reach. This is nothing new for Rivas, but in a different realm of competition, it could now start to cost him. Whyte is pretty adept at utilizing his range and length, as his boxing skill resonates more against shorter opponents. With Whyte being pretty deadly from long-range, it’s definitely something to think about.
I don’t want to discount Rivas, an ambitious and talented fighter who is dangerous even at this level. And until we know for sure, we really don’t know what his actual ceiling is. We can only guess. I just see Whyte’s punches having more snap and crack, whereas Rivas’ shots are more clubbing. Whyte is a bigger, more-explosive fighter and in his stomping grounds, to boot. I see him getting Rivas out of there before the final bell rings. I’ll take Whyte in this one.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Dillian Whyte at -700 betting odds at 5Dimes. Other than some vague notion of Rivas perhaps being dangerous, there is no area in which he possesses a real advantage in this fight. Whyte’s superior fighting conditions, firepower, and experience will all come to the surface, as he continues to make his case for world championship consideration.
50% Cash up to $1,000