Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape
Watch Whyte vs Rivas, Allen-Price, Chisora-Szpilka and more on a bumper O2 bill, Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office Andy Ruiz Jr rocked... Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape

Watch Whyte vs Rivas, Allen-Price, Chisora-Szpilka and more on a bumper O2 bill, Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape

Andy Ruiz Jr rocked the heavyweight world with an upset win over Anthony Joshua

The age of the heavyweight underdog led by Andy Ruiz Jr might turn into 15 minutes of fame if Anthony Joshua can put him back in his place. But could it become a trend?

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Oscar Rivas was just another big man with big ambition when the phone rang, telling him a fight on the other side of the world in Dillian Whyte’s backyard awaited.

Now, having seen Ruiz Jr do the impossible, Colombia’s Rivas will aim to channel the same energy and further disrupt the established elite at the top of the division.

Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape

I can see he’s a mad puncher.

Oscar Rivas

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“I can see he’s a mad puncher, he’s coming from all sides, and you have to be careful with his left hook, but despite all this, I think he’s a normal boxer,” Rivas told Sky Sports about Whyte.

Joshua hoped to advance past Ruiz Jr in New York City last month and into a dream fight with Deontay Wilder for the undisputed title. Wilder, a fortnight earlier, had won in style and the baton was passed to Joshua who knew what his prize for toppling Ruiz Jr would be.

Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape

Highlights as Joshua is stunned by Ruiz Jr in New York Highlights as Joshua is stunned by Ruiz Jr in New York

There are parallels to the next instalment of the heavyweight drama this week in London – but the importance of those similarities will largely be decided by Whyte.

No 1 in the WBC rankings for longer than he can remember, Whyte has never been made the mandatory challenger to the title held by Wilder but is striving to finally get the opportunity that he deserves after a brilliant streak of form that has seen him defeat Derek Chisora (twice), Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker.

So the temptation exists for Whyte to take his eye off the ball, knowing he is nearing the elusive target. The problem is an unbeaten contender by the name of Oscar Rivas who does not know or care about Whyte’s issues.

“I think it’s going to be a difficult fight for both of us, but I can see it ending before the whole distance,” said Rivas, a man from a city known for bull-fighting who fled to Canada without knowing the language in a desperate bid to fight his way to the top.

Twenty-three of his 26 fights have been in Canada so it is notable Rivas must contend with being in Whyte’s home city – but the Colombian has never experienced a fight on his home country’s soil, anyway.

So it disadvantageous for the visitor to The O2 in London?

“No, after all, everything that people will throw at me during the match I will take in as good energy, so I’m really not worried about that,” he said.

Whyte vs Rivas: Oscar Rivas is latest underdog looking to shake the heavyweight landscape

Dillian Whyte believes Rivas 'feels unstoppable' ahead of Saturday's fight Dillian Whyte believes Rivas ‘feels unstoppable’ ahead of Saturday’s fight

In Rivas’ last fight he travelled to a stone’s throw from Bryant Jennings’ home turf, and won. Jennings, last weekend, earned plaudits for almost ending Joe Joyce’s unbeaten record.

Of course not all heavyweight underdogs can expect to replicate Ruiz Jr’s success – there will always be far more examples of a Tom Schwarz or a Dominic Breazeale.

But there has never been a better time for a contender to announce themselves to the world than now, and Rivas knows this.

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