With talk of potential world title clashes and monster pay-per-view showdowns on the horizon, Dillian Whyte insists his full focus remains on overcoming the unbeaten Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena next Saturday evening. The self-proclaimed ‘Body Snatcher’ – speaking at his open workout in Loughborough – was quick to refute Rivas’ claims that he was being overlooked ahead of their London meeting.
“I’m probably the most underestimated boxer in the world,” Whyte said. “People always talk some rubbish every time I fight them. We see it time and time again, they say this and they say that. I’ve done nothing but praise Rivas. He beat Pulev and Andy Ruiz in the amateurs, he was a top amateur. 26 fights, 26 wins in the pros, 18 knockouts, just beat Jennings.
“This for him in his World title, or whatever. For him it’s a big thing. He thinks everyone is overlooking him and he’s going to prove this and he’s going to prove that. I do that every fight. This isn’t a fight that I’m going to change my mindset for. This has been like this my whole career.”
Whyte goes into his July 20 bout hoping to finally secure a world title shot with a victory, after publicly expressing his frustration at being the WBC’s number one-ranked contender for a lengthy time period to no avail. The 31-year-old will have to be aware of the danger that Rivas brings, however, after the Colombian halted the experienced Bryant Jennings in the final session of their twelve-round clash last time out.
When prompted for a prediction, ‘The Body Snatcher’ was quick to point out exactly what Rivas should be wary of – suggesting his determination to improve in each training camp, as well as his impressive punch selection could be the difference. On the fight, Whyte said:
“Everyone I step in the ring with, I believe I’m going to stop them. Sometimes I don’t get the stoppage but I do try my hardest. I do what I need to do and I focus on me. I train hard and I don’t leave no stone unturned. I don’t overlook anyone and I graft to make sure I was better than the last time out.
“I don’t really care what these guys are going to do. They all have two hands and two legs, they’re going to do the same thing, jab, uppercuts, hooks, overhand, whatever. It’s a different challenge, different mindset, fresher guy as people say.
“He can look for [my left hook] but it will land at some point. I’ve got a massive arsenal of other punches as well. I’ve got a good right hand, good jab, good uppercut as well. Hopefully he’ll be looking for the left hook and that will leave him open for something else and I’ll get to showcase one of my other devastating punches.”