DILLIAN WHYTE will finally become the mandatory contender for the WBC heavyweight world title if he beats “banana skin” opponent Oscar Rivas.
The Brixton brawler, 31, has been the WBC's No1-ranked challenger for over 600 days, but has been overlooked to fight for Deontay Wilder’s belt.
However, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed to Sky Sports that Whyte will find himself as the governing bodies mandatory challenger – as long as he beats unbeaten Colombian Rivas, 32, on Saturday.
Hearn said: “We have finalised with the WBC this fight will be for the WBC interim world title between Whyte and Rivas and the winner will be the mandatory for Deontay Wilder’s WBC world title.
“It’s big news for Dillian Whyte, we’ve been campaigning for this for a long time, finally got the job done – one more hurdle to overcome.
“Oscar Rivas is a banana skin. I see this as a 50/50 fight, so many similarities between Rivas and Andy Ruiz; both great amateurs, both being totally overlooked, everybody talking about the next fight.
“Both really got a chance to change their lives and Ruiz did it and Oscar Rivas really believes he’s going to do it on Saturday night.”
WBC champion Wilder, though, is already booked to defend his crown against Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz, 40, at the end of the year.
Then Tyson Fury, 30, who was unfortunate not to walk away with a decision against Wilder in their December draw, will get his rematch against The Bronze Bomber in February.
With two opponents already ahead of Whyte, Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn revealed the WBC champion has until May 2020 to face the winner of Saturday night’s heavyweight clash.
Hearn added: “The date is the end of May 2020, is when that fight has to take place. So we know (Wilder) is fighting against Ortiz, he’ll get his Fury – Wilder fight in February.
“In boxing anything can change but what I want is for Dillian Whyte to be mandatory on paper – whether that be in May or in June.
“We’ve been told it has to happen in May, whether he has to wait a couple of weeks or months, we know if Dillian Whyte beats Oscar Rivas he is mandatory for Wilder – that is key.”
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