On this day in 2019, Dillian Whyte would edge nearer to his shot at the WBC world heavyweight title at the O2 Arena in London with a decision victory over the undefeated Oscar Rivas, despite being floored in the ninth round. However, controversy would brew following the fight.
Whyte would box well throughout the bout, with Rivas having bright spots of success as he implemented his amateur pedigree to give Whyte a few issues throughout. This wasn't one of Whyte's firefights, as boxing skill was displayed more than raw power. However, Rivas did show his power, as he would send Whyte hurtling to the canvas in round nine. Whyte would return to his feet and see out the full 12 rounds. The scorecards read 115-112×2 and 116-111 confirming Whyte as the WBC 'Interim' champion.
Controversy emerged following the bout, as reports emerged claiming that Whyte had failed a drugs test on the week of the fight. An account was opened, sparking uncertainty around Whyte's future in the WBC rankings. Months passed before Whyte was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The undercard saw David Price breathe new fire into his career as he would savagely beat David Allen down before Allen's corner would pull their man out at the end of the tenth. The other heavyweight presence on the card would see Derek Chisora produce a stunning knockout over Artur Szpilka in two rounds. Both Chisora and Price would meet in the ring five months later following their victories.
Richard Riakporhe would defeat Chris Billam-Smith by a razor-thin split decision in a battle of two undefeated prospects. Riakporhe would score a knockdown in round seven which seemingly swung the bout in his favour. Lawrence Okolie would move closer to world honours as he would stop Mariano Gudino in seven rounds.
Dalton Smith built on his debut victory as he would move to 2-0 with a second-round victory over Ibrar Riyaz. Heavyweight prospects Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic both extended their undefeated records with knockout victories to raise the curtain on this huge show from the O2 Arena.