BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Dillian Whyte is the new WBC world interim heavyweight champion after a dramatic points win over dangerous Oscar Rivas.
The Brixton puncher knew that winning on Saturday night at Greenwich’s 02 Arena would also make him mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder, who holds the main version of the title.
But Whyte endured at least one torrid moment in the contest when he was dropped by a right uppercut in the ninth round.
The South Londoner survived some rocky moments straight after that as Rivas looked to find a knockout finish, before coming back in the closing stages of the round.
Colombian Rivas looked to have blown himself out and Whyte was back in control in the final rounds.
Two judges scored him a 115-112 winner while the other went wider at 116-111.
Wilder is due to rematch Luis Ortiz in November and then also a second meeting with Tyson Fury in February.
The American knockout artist should have to defend against Whyte before May or be stripped.
Whyte said he would box again in November or December.
“I just keep showing up and beating these guys,” said Whyte, after claiming a 26th career victory.
“He is a world-class fighter and a top-class amateur and I controlled and dominated the whole fight.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD