WBC hopeful Whyte claims underdog status for Rivas bout

Dillian Whyte after his win over Dereck Chisora

A fight with Deontay Wilder could be on the horizon but Dillian Whyte must first deal with Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena.

Dillian Whyte believes he is the underdog as he prepares to take on Oscar Rivas in a crucial heavyweight showdown in London on Saturday.

Whyte, who heads to the O2 Arena with a 25-1 record, knows victory in front of his home crowd will put him at the head of the queue as the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt held by Deontay Wilder.

Colombian Rivas is undefeated in his 26 professional contests, most recently overcoming Bryant Jennings by virtue of a last-round stoppage in January.

Whyte, meanwhile, is preparing for his first fight of 2019, having stopped Dereck Chisora in the 11th round in December amid the familiar surroundings of the O2.

“I’m nothing special, the man over there has everything; he looks good, he has the amateur experience and has a big team,” said Whyte of Rivas in Thursday’s media conference.

“I’ve said many things, shouted, screamed, but it’s a good fight on paper and once again I’m the underdog. He’s in good shape, let’s see what happens on Saturday.

“I’ve been in the game a while. I’ve been to camps, sparred many people, seen many styles. I am learning from mistakes, learning on the job.

“The main thing I bring to a fight is being unconventional. I adapt to my situation. I have fought tall guys, awkward guys, pressure fighters – I beat them all, except for one [Anthony Joshua in December 2015], and we know what happened there.

“We’ve been working for a while, we don’t overlook anyone. I train hard for everyone; the violence of this sport excites me and I train for that. Why would I all of a sudden overlook someone?

“He [Rivas] is dangerous; he’s got a great team, he trained in Colombia, he trained here and there, but none of that matters. I’ve been fighting forever. I don’t do a lot of other things well, but I know how to fight.”