Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Whyte vs Rivas Final Presser!

Whyte vs Rivas Media Workout!

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WBC interim World Title on the Line for Whyte vs Rivas!

(July 17th) The World Boxing Council and Matchroom Boxing are delighted to confirm that Saturday’s bout between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, will be contested for the WBC Interim World Heavyweight Championship. The winner of the bout will become Mandatory Challenger for the WBC Heavyweight World Championship, currently held by Deontay Wilder.

 

Whyte (25-1 18 KOs) has been No.1 in the WBC rankings since November 2017 and has overcome all challengers since to blast his way towards a deserved World title shot. ‘The Body Snatcher’, hailing from Brixton in London, put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing ‘WAR’ Chisora in the 11th round of their brutal clash.

 

Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte to risk his World rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders.

 

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’m very happy that we have reached an agreement with the WBC and this makes Saturday night even more important. Dillian Whyte has faced all comers in reaching his WBC No.1 position and now he stands just one more test away from a shot at the WBC World title – it’s all on the line this Saturday at The O2.”

 

Whyte vs. Rivas tops a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

 

Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, former World title challengers Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) clash in an explosive Heavyweight match-up, big-hitting London Cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (9-0, 8 KOs) defends his WBA Inter-Continental title against Bournemouth’s undefeated Chris Billam-Smith (9-0, 8 KOs), Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Mariano Gudino (13-2, 8 KOs), Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith(1-0) fights for the second time.

Riakporhe: I'll Beat Him In Every Department!

(July 17th) Richard Riakporhe says he will beat Chris Billam-Smith “in every department” when he puts his WBA Inter-Continental belt on the line against the unbeaten Bournemouth man at The O2 on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

After going the distance on his professional debut in the summer of 2016, big-hitting Riakporhe has stopped all of his opponents since with every contest bar one failing to reach the fifth round. With just nine fights to his name, the 29-year-old expects to become even more of a problem in his division once he has further refined his skills with trainer Mark Tibbs.

 

“It’s real power that I possess, it’s very genuine,” said Riakporhe. “You do not want to get hit, but now all these other fighters, they are going to start taking risks, because I’m boxing now, I’m not just relying on my raw power. The more risks they take, the more dangerous the fight is going to be for them, and they’ll get knocked out.

 

“I believe I’m the most dangerous, because I have the power and I have transferred my intelligence into the ring. You have to be wary of a fighter like me and I’m dangerous throughout the fight, from the first bell, until the last. You have to be focused throughout the fight. Any mistake you make, I’ll capitalise on it. Just one, that’s all I need.”

 

Trained by highly-rated coach Shane McGuigan alongside British champion Lawrence Okolie, Billam-Smith shares an identical record of 9-0 (8 KOs) and has also predicted a KO win in this weekend’s crunch Cruiserweight showdown, but Riakporhe holds no fear of ‘The Gentleman’ and is extremely confident that he will get the job done.

 

“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels in this game and I feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.

 

“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issues when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every department. I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning news things. I’ve taken these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive.”

Rivas: I’m Going to Be the Last Man Standing!

(July 16th) Hammer-fisted Colombian Oscar Rivas is determined to be the “last man standing” at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20 following his huge Heavyweight clash with Dillian Whyte, shown LIVE in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN in the US.

 

Rivas heads into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks, travelling to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January to KO former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their fight.

 

After crafting his skills as an amateur in his native Colombia, Rivas is steadily climbing the Heavyweight ladder and is now ready to seize his golden opportunity and propel his name to the top of the mix with a career-best win over ‘The Body Snatcher’.

 

“I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for years, and now it is happening. I am looking forward to showing people what I can do,” said Rivas. “I don’t care what Whyte is thinking. If he’s not thinking about me, that’s his problem.

 

“I have changed lots of things, technically I have improved. I moved to Montreal to train with Marc Ramsay who has improved lots of aspects of my boxing. I am a technical boxer but I also have a big heart. This is what makes me a better boxer. But we are Heavyweights and one shot can change anybody’s plans.”

 

The Canadian-based 32-year-old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 KOs in 26 fights since turning over, ‘Kaboom’ is predicitng an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers.

 

“Whyte is a really strong guy, but I think with my technique, my speed, my power, my experience, I’m going to get on top,” he added. “That’s a guy that I can beat, but he’s strong, so I have to be very well prepared, and I will be. Each of us will show what we’re made of on Saturday and we can produce one of the best fights of the year.

 

“It’s going to be an explosive fight. I cannot wait until the bell rings and then I’m going to make sure that I’m going to continue my rise. I know that Whyte is going to try to make me lose my first fight, but it won’t happen. I don’t give predictions, but I can say this, I’m going to be the last man standing.”

Whyte: Richard Can Stop Him in Six or Seven Rounds!

(July 15th) Guided by leading Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, it seems that London Cruiserweight hope Richard Riakporhe is in the right hands when it comes to being steered towards the top of the sport.

 

On Saturday he makes the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental title, LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, against fellow undefeated prospect Chris Billam-Smith, who shares an identical record of nine wins from nine fights – eight coming by knockout.

 

A concussive puncher and extremely dangerous early, the Walworth talent is quickly establishing himself as one of the biggest threats in the domestic scene, and ‘The Body Snatcher’ is backing his man to get the job done inside the distance once more this weekend.

 

“Richard is on a good run now and he’s got a lot of confidence behind him,” said Whyte. “The people he’s fighting and beating, I believe his resume is a lot better than Lawrence Okolie’s so far. If he beats Billam-Smith in good fashion, which I believe he will do, then he should be looking to fight the likes of Lawrence Okolie by the end of the year.

 

“Billiam-Smith is a good boxer, he’s undefeated, he’ll be confident, but Richard carries a lot of power, he’s on a roll and I think he can stop Billam-Smith in six or seven rounds. With Richard, it’s all about the people he has around him, and the mindset that those people give him. He’s ready to defeat most of these guys in the Cruiserweight division worldwide.”

Szpilka: “Punches Will Fly In London”!

(July 15th) Artur Szpilka has refused to engage in any trash talk with Derek Chisora and has instead promised to let his fists do the talking when he clashes with the Finchley Heavyweight at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

Although Szpilka’s dream of becoming the first ever Polish Heavyweight Champion of the World was brutally destroyed by WBC ruler Deontay Wilder in 2016, the 30-year-old southpaw from Wieliczka still believes he can achieve big things in boxing.

 

Power-puncher Szpilka, with only world level defeats on his resume, was giving the champion problems in the opening few rounds until he was caught by a huge shot in round nine.

 

He has since returned to winning ways in his native country, including a victory over domestic rival Mariusz Wach back in November, and the awkward 6’ 3.5” southpaw believes that a win over ‘WAR’ Chisora will fire his name back into the Heavyweight mix.

 

“The Heavyweight division is now wide open,” said Szpilka. “We saw Andy Ruiz Jr stop Anthony Joshua in New York a few weeks ago in a big upset. I believe that every top ten fighter now has a chance of winning a version of the Heavyweight world title. However, my full focus is on Derek Chisroa. I’m not thinking about anything else.

 

“Despite the eventual KO I think it was quite a good fight with Wilder. I had to fight with a broken hand from the fourth round onwards. Deontay finally got me in the ninth round but this is boxing. Up until that point I was very much in the fight and proved I can mix it at that level. I hope the best is still to come.”

 

July 20 will not be the first time that Szpilka and Chisora have shared a ring. The rivals already had a chance to trade punches during the filming of the 2018 film ‘Pitbull’, a Polish gangster film in which the two men were involved in a brief boxing scene.

 

Chisora has spoken of his willingness to take on former WBO ruler Joseph Parker should he get past Szpilka on Saturday, but ‘The Pin’ believes that his London rival would be a fool to overlook him and has vowed to prove any doubters wrong.

 

“I met him and we had a short chat. Yes, we know each other but we are not friends. We indeed traded some blows but not heavy ones. It was more fun than a real fight. The real punches will fly in London! I have a lot of respect for Chisora. He is a true warrior and he always fights to the final bell, so I’m ready and prepared for a tough fight. I chose this fight because we are both crazy men and it’s going to be a crazy fight.

 

“I know that people are talking about Chisora fighting Jospeh Parker this autumn and I know Derek and his manager David Haye are trying to get under my skin by mentioning this, but I don’t want to get involved in this trash talk too much. I’ll answer them on July 20. My fists will do the talking!”

DAZN to Stream Whyte / Rivas Around the World!

(July 13th) The Heavyweight title eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas for the number one spot in the WBC will be streamed live in all DAZN markets on Saturday, July 20, from The O2 in London. DAZN is available across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil.

 

Whyte (25-1 18 KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.

 

The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.

 

Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders.

 

In the United States, action will begin on DAZN at 1:00 p.m. ET with the full six-fight Matchroom Boxing undercard from The O2 in London.

 

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a huge night of Heavyweight boxing and I’m excited that DAZN subscribers will get to watch it live. Dillian Whyte, who has proved himself as one on the best Heavyweights on the planet, takes on the relentless and unbeaten Oscar Rivas who is coming off a brutal KO of Bryant Jennings. Brit Derek Chisora faces off against Poland’s Artur Szpilka and crowd favourite Dave Allen tackles David Price in a big domestic shootout. Tune in and don’t miss it!"

Tickets for Whyte vs. Rivas are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300, £500 and £1,000 VIP.

 

Tickets are available to purchase for O2 Priority customers on Tuesday 23 April at midday via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Wednesday 24 April at midday via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk)

 

General Sale tickets are available to purchase at midday on Thursday April 25 from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)

 

About Matchroom Boxing

After the success of snooker in the 1980s, Matchroom Sport moved into boxing with two small hall shows followed by Frank Bruno v Joe Bugner at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground – the biggest boxing event of 1987. That launched the company into the boxing big-time, a position it has maintained ever since.

 

Through the 1990s Matchroom Sport’s boxing roster featured many of the biggest names in the sport including Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Naseem Hamed, all in world title fights and it continues to work with some of the biggest names in UK boxing including Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic Super-Heavyweight gold medalist.

 

Over the years, Matchroom Sport has built up long-standing relationships with broadcasters around the world and with the advent of the Prizefighter phenomenon, the company’s boxing division has never been in a stronger position.

 

From fantastic six round scraps between the sport’s journeymen, up to multi-million-dollar World Championship contests featuring the above fighters, the Pro Box series has it all. Each show is packed with the very best in boxing action in a series that encompasses almost 25 years of Matchroom Sport’s commitment to bringing the highest quality to the global television market.

Chisora and Szpilka Collide at The O2!

(June 13th) Derek Chisora will clash with former World title challenger Artur Szpilka on a huge night of Heavyweight action at The O2 in London on July 20 that also sees Dillian Whyte take on the undefeated Oscar Rivas for the number one spot in the WBC and Dave Allen collide with David Price in a must-win domestic showdown, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.

 

Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) cruised to a comfortable points win over Senad Gashi at The O2 in April in his first fight with new trainer Dave Coldwell on his big return after he came sensationally close to beating ‘The Body Snatcher’ in their brutal December rematch.

 

The Finchley man still has a point to prove in the Heavyweight division and has already targeted fights with former WBO ruler and recent Matchroom Boxing USA signing Joseph Parker and undisputed Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk should he come through his Szpilka test next month.

 

“July 20 is not going to be an easy night in the office, I know that,” said Chisora. “Szpilka is an unpredictable come-forward southpaw, I will need to be in the best physical condition of my career to win this WAR, but I’m ready. Remember, I’m true a fighter, I love the heat of the battlefield, I’m at my most comfortable when most fighters would want to quit. July 20 is going to be explosive, Szpilka won’t be hearing the final bell.”

 

Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs), a tricky and awkward 6ft 3.5 southpaw, fell short in his attempt to become Poland’s first Heavyweight World Champion when he challenged for Deontay Wilder’s WBC crown back in January 2016.

 

Aside from Wilder, Szpilka’s only other career defeats have come to World level opposition in former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in 2014 and unbeaten contender Adam Kownacki in 2017, and the power puncher from Wieliczka is predicting fireworks against ‘WAR’ Chisora.

 

“I chose this fight because we are both crazy men and it’s going to be a crazy fight!” said Szpilka. “Chisora is a good fighter, he is bull strong and he can box well. He turns up to every fight in great condition, so I know it is going to be a tough night for me. We are both warriors who like to fight, this will be violent.

 

“I’m relishing the opportunity to fight in front of all my UK fans for the first time in career. I know that there is a proud Polish community in London and I’m sure they will turn out in their numbers to get behind me on July 20 my country’s first Heavyweight World Champion.”

 

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a great fight on a huge night of Heavyweight boxing. Both are unpredictable characters but both must win this fight and I believe we will see an England vs. Poland war at The O2 on July 20. Add this fight to the important Whyte vs. Rivas shootout and the big domestic clash between Allen and Price and you’ve got a big night of big men looking to take people out!”

 

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing said: “It’s terrific to have one of most charismatic Heavyweights Derek Chisora back at The O2 in an unpredictable and exciting fight against the wild Artur Szpilka.

 

“We were ringside when Szpilka gave Deontay Wilder a real test in Brooklyn and we now welcome him to London. Dillian Whyte topped a cracking event last July – so bring on another Summer Heavyweight Sizzler – live on Sky Sports Box Office a year on.”

 

Chisora vs. Szpilka is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital, main event sees Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) take on undefeated Columbian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) for the number one spot in the WBC, Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) and David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) clash in a must-win domestic showdown, heavy-hitting Londoner Richard Riakporhe (9-0, 8 KOs) puts his WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title on the line against unbeaten Bournemouth man Chris Billam-Smith (9-0, 8 KOs) and Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title.

Duffield and Azeez Meet In All-London Clash at The O2!

(May 8th) Charlie Duffield and Dan Azeez will meet in an all-London clash for the Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s Heavyweight showdown with unbeaten Colombian Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

 

Canning Town’s Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) bounced back from a first career defeat in 2016 with four straight victories and the heavy-handed Mark Tibbs fighter is delighted to be fighting for his first professional title as he looks to climb the domestic ladder at 175lbs.

 

Lewisham’s Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) has earned his first title shot with eight straight wins since turning over in 2017 and the former amateur standout is promising to deliver a memorable performance in his first opportunity on the big stage.

 

“I’m really looking forward to this one,” said Duffield. “It’s a really big platform on Sky Sports Box Office and a great opportunity for me to showcase what I’m really about. It’s going to be a cracking fight on July 20, I’m preparing for a war. Mark Tibbs has got the best out of me and he’s pushed me to my limits – that’s what I need in a trainer. I’ve got to say a massive thank you to Dillian Whyte for helping me get this opportunity, he’s been like a big brother to me.

 

“This is massive for me. I’ve always told people that these four rounders are no good for me because I only start warming up in the second and third rounds. I’m a pretty slow starter and I come on strong in the later rounds. I haven’t been able to showcase that yet but this is a championship fight and I’m going to get my head down and train hard. Under the guidance of Mark I think I can go all the way.

 

“I’ve seen lots of Azeez and he’s very good. He’s kept really busy which should stand him in good stead for our fight. I never underestimate my opponents but I’m going to let my hands do the talking. When I catch people cleanly with those 10oz gloves they don’t get up. Nobody has seen the best of my yet but they will on July 20.”

 

“I’m happy to get my first title shot,” said Azeez. “It’s a pleasure to have it on a huge Matchroom Boxing show. I’ve got to thank MTK Global for sorting it out for me. I’ve worked hard to get into this position with some good performances and I’ve stayed very active. The fashion of my wins has made a lot of noise and put me in this position to be mandatory for the Southern Area title.

 

“Charlie Duffield is a big opponent. He’s very strong and he’s a big puncher. He’s won the majority of his fights by TKO so I know he’s dangerous. My current trainer used to train Charlie as an amateur, so he’ll know a lot about him. I’m expecting the best Charlie Duffield to turn up on July 20 so I’ve got to train hard and just keep on doing what I’m doing. I’m sure that will be enough to get my hand raised on the night.”

 

Duffield and Azeez clash on a huge night of boxing in the Capital.

Richard Riakporhe Meets Chris Billam-Smith July 20th!

(May 3rd) Richard Riakporhe will make the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title against Chris Billam-Smith on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s crunch Heavyweight clash with Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

 

Riakporhe (9-0, 8KOs) displayed destructive punch power as he halted Belfast’s highly-touted Tommy McCarthy in four rounds last time out at the East of England Arena in Peterborough in March and the Londoner knows that a win over unbeaten Billam-Smith will keep him in contention for a clash with current British Champion Lawrence Okolie.

 

Billam-Smith (8-0, 7KOs) also holds a perfect record since turning professional in 2017 and Bournemouth fighter keeps busy on next Friday’s JD NXTGEN show at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham before turning his attention to Riakporhe.

 

Known as ‘The Gentleman’, Billam-Smith has honed his skills under trainer Shane McGuigan and the 28-year-old is determined to announce himself on the big stage by taking out Riakporhe in style on his first ever PPV event.

 

“I’m so excited,” said Riakporhe. “I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning new things. I’ve taken on these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive so far. This is pretty much the beginning and it’s just a matter of time before people realise that I’m the truth.

 

“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels and I just feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.

 

“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issue when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every single department.

 

“I bring a lot of power and the fans love to see the knockouts. I bring those knockouts as you can see from my last eight fights and I’m going to continue to bring excitement to the fans. I think Lawrence will be watching closely and I believe once I carry on getting the wins, our paths are very likely to cross. It’s going to be a hell of a fight in the future.”

 

“I believe it’s going to be an exciting fight for the fans,” said Billam-Smith. “You only have to look at our records to see that we both carry knockout power and the ability to end fights at any time. Isaac Chamberlain didn’t want to know so we moved on swiftly and secured a better fight with Riakporhe, I’m not letting anyone stall my career.

 

“I think I’ll outbox him early on and I believe I’ll take him out when I get the chance – I don’t expect this to go the full ten rounds. I believe that I’ll take him out anywhere between four and six rounds. He’s a good scalp for me at this stage of my career as his record looks great on paper and he can obviously punch a bit. There’s definitely weaknesses there which I plan to exploit.

 

“This will be the first title that I’ve boxed for as a professional and it’s important to get it under my belt in order to progress. I want to pick up as many belts as I can and move up the rankings quickly. It’s the perfect platform for me with it being on Sky Sports Box Office and at such a great arena that I’ve been to many times as a fan over the years. I’m excited to bring a big fanbase with me and start the show with a bang.”

 

“Richard is on a good run now and he’s got a lot of confidence behind him,” said Dillian Whyte, manager of Riakporhe. “The people he’s fighting and beating, I believe his resume is a lot better than Lawrence Okolie so far. If he defeats Billam-Smith in good fashion, which I believe he will do, then he should be looking to fight the likes of Lawrence Okolie by the end of the year.

 

“Billam-Smith is a good boxer, he’s undefeated, he’ll be confident, but Richard carries a lot of power, he’s on a roll and I think he can stop Billam-Smith in six or seven rounds. With Richard, it’s all about the people he has around him, and the mindset that those people give him. He’s ready to defeat most of these guys in the Cruiserweight division worldwide.”

 

“It’s a great fight and these type of fights don’t happen very often,” said Barry McGuigan MBE, manager of Billam-Smith. “Most of the guys that are coming up through the ranks are always conscious of the guys that are on a similar level to them with similar records but invariably they avoid each other, certainly in the early stages of their career. It’s great to see these two young guys meeting on July 20.

 

“Riakporhe is definitely known for his punching power and I know that his manager Dillian Whyte thinks Riakporhe can take Billam-Smith out but I disagree with that completely. Of all of the guys that we’ve had through the gym, I don’t think anyone had made the improvements that Billam-Smith has made. He’s got great boxing skills and he can bang. He places his shots really well. It’s not an easy fight, there’s no question about it, but I think he will have too much for Riakporhe – he’s too versatile. It’s as simple as that.”

Whyte vs Rivas & Allen vs Price Opening Presser!

Allen and Price

Collide In Huge Domestic Showdown at The O2!

(April 28th) Dave Allen will face David Price in a huge domestic Heavyweight showdown on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s clash with unbeaten rival Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London on July 20, LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office.

 

Allen (17-4-2, 14KOs) stopped former WBA World Champion Lucas Browne in three rounds at the Greenwich venue last weekend, flooring the Australian with a crunching body shot to claim a stunning victory in his first ever main event fight.

 

‘White Rhino’ has taken his career to new heights after four straight stoppage wins and the hugely-popular Doncaster man believes that another win over Liverpudlian Price could earn him a shot at one of the top ten Heavyweights in the World.

 

Price (24-6, 19KOs) returned to winning ways with a TKO victory over Hatfield’s Tom Little last December and then recorded a win over Kash Ali at The M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool after being bit twice during a controversial fight that ended in Ali’s disqualification.

 

The former British and Commonwealth Champion is determined to prove that he still has plenty left in the tank and is all too aware that nothing less than a win on July 20 will suffice as he looks to throw his name into the Heavyweight World mix once more.

 

“This is the fight that I’ve wanted for years,” said Allen. “I wanted it three years ago but it probably wasn’t the right fight for me at the time. Now it’s the right time for me and it’s the biggest domestic fight out there. There may be other fighters out there that are better than us but I think me and Pricey have two of the biggest fanbases in the UK.

 

“We’re both really exciting fighters and we can both punch, either of us could end it with one shot. It’s a great fight and one that I’m really excited to be involved in. This won’t go past four rounds. I’m going to try and outbox him and I’m going to try and take him out with one shot as early as possible. I want to beat him in the first two or three rounds while he’s still fresh and at his best. His game plan will be to try and knock me out within the first few rounds so the fans will love it.

 

“A win over Price would put me one fight away from a World title shot. It puts me in the shop window for the Joseph Parkers and Alexander Povetkins of this World. On the back of three victories then Lucas Browne and David Price I believe that I’m ready for a top ten Heavyweight and that for me is a final eliminator for a World title fight.”

 

“It’s a great fight and it’s come at a good time for the both of us,” said Price. “It’s a fight that will capture a lot of people’s interest. Dave Allen has got a good following and I’ve got a good following myself. It’s going to be an interesting night that’s for sure.

 

“Dave is a durable fighter and he’s on a good winning streak. His last fight was a great win so he’ll be coming into this one with his tail up but I’ve won my last two fights as well. It’s going to be explosive. It’s two big punchers and it might be a matter of who lands first.

 

“Dave is known for his toughness so it won’t be a good idea for me to go out there and try to land a big one early. It’s about me trying to use my attributes to my advantage. It’s two completely different types of fighters and two different sized men. I’m a lot bigger than Dave Allen, that can be a good thing or a bad thing.

 

“It’s a massive fight. I think me and Dave Allen have been slated to fight a couple of times in the past and it hasn’t happened for whatever reason but this time there’s big upsides for the winner. There’s a hell of a lot on the line which makes for an intriguing fight.”

 

“This is a big domestic clash and a complete 50-50 Heavyweight match up,” said Eddie Hearn. “Dave Allen’s story has touched sports fans all over the country and he returns to The O2 after his epic KO of Lucas Browne. We all know David Price inside out – a huge puncher but also vulnerable at times, he is coming off two solid wins and wants another major Worldwide name in the division. I have no idea who will get the job done but I cannot wait to see it unfold on a huge night at The O2. Don’t blink!”

Whyte Faces Rivas in London Showdown!

(April 21st) Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas for the number one Heavyweight spot in the WBC at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

 

Whyte (25-1 18KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.

 

The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.

 

Rivas (26-0 18KOs) is yet another dangerous customer for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas travelled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders, with ‘Kaboom’ ranked at number ten with the WBC, seven in the IBF and a lofty five with both the WBA and WBO.

 

The Canadian-based 31 year old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 KOs in 26 fights since turning over, July 20 promises to be an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers, with huge stakes on the line.

 

“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July,” said Whyte. “Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years.

 

“His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.

 

“I am more than happy to carry on fighting top 10 fighters like Rivas until I get my well-earned shot at Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

 

“I can’t wait until July 20 to fight again at The O2 which is one of the best venues in the world for boxing.”

 

‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” said Rivas. “Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer, a World class fighter and the number one contender. He deserve all my respect for his accomplishments and I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.

 

“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated, I am planning to keep my perfect record after July 20 in my quest to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”

 

“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot but as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war. We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”

 

“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York and representations were made.

 

“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy, to be earning an eventual World title opportunity, by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”

 

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Dillian Whyte is risking it all again as he battles the dangerous Oscar Rivas at The O2, which has become a happy hunting ground for ‘The Body Snatcher.’

 

“Dillian has already delivered exciting wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora at the same venue, but he could have his hands full against Rivas, the unbeaten Colombian with his own world ambitions.

 

“Expect another enthralling showdown when Whyte returns in the summer, and we expect to have a stacked card before a sizzling main event.”

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