Dillian Whyte recovers from ninth-round knockdown to beat Oscar Rivas

O2 Arena Boxing

Dillian Whyte secured a unanimous points victory over Oscar Rivas to claim the WBC interim heavyweight title at London’s O2 Arena.

The victory, Whyte’s 10th in succession following the only defeat of his career to Anthony Joshua in 2016, hung in the balance after he was floored in the ninth round.

But the 31-year-old Londoner recovered his composure to seal the win with the judges scoring the bout 115-112, 115-112, and 116-111 in his favour.

Whyte is now the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s WBC belt.

Colombian Rivas was unbeaten heading into Saturday’s fight but Whyte delivered his intent early on, hurting his opponent with an explosive straight right in only the second round.

Rivas temporarily steadied the ship but Whyte remained in control of the bout, working his jab and unleashing an uppercut through Rivas’s defence in round five.

The 32-year-old had sustained swelling to his left eye, with the impressive Whyte continuing to land a number of body shots on his opponent before delivering another huge uppercut in the eighth.

Whyte looked on course for a straightforward victory, but the bout threatened to turn on its head when Rivas sent Whyte to the canvas following a huge uppercut in a spellbinding ninth round.

A shaky Whyte returned to his feet, but with 50 seconds of the round remaining, Rivas sensed a finish, unloading on his fragile opponent and landing a huge right.

Whyte scrambled to the bell before going on to navigate his way safely through the remaining three rounds as the judges delivered their unanimous verdict.

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