Since the announcement of a huge Sky Sports Box Office battle between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas, an old query has resurfaced.
Back in 2016, Rivas – who has had several eye surgeries in the past, was declined a license by the California State Athletic Commission. This forced Rivas and Premier Boxing Champions to cancel a planned fight with Gerald Washington at late notice.
Rivas v Washington was due to be part of a Showtime tripleheader featuring Leo Santa Cruz v Kiko Martinez. The contest never took place.
At the time, there was disappointment all round.
“I love the heavyweights. This was going to be a good fight. A good test for both of these guys.
“I feel sorry for Gerald Washington. You train so hard, you accept a fight like this and this happens. That’s who I feel for. He was willing to take on an undefeated Olympian.”
The Colombian was forced to go back to Canada in order to compete…and furthermore, extend his undefeated record. Rivas also appeared once in France.
Only recently was Rivas cleared to fight in America when the New York Athletic Commission gave him the thumbs up to face Bryant Jennings.
Details of the examinations leading to the sanctioning haven’t fully been revealed. Rivas scored a career-best triumph over Jennings in the final round.
Three years on and those eye problems remain a talking point for some British fans.
On the back of Anthony Joshua losing an opponent recently, UK supporters are worried Whyte could suffer the same fate if Rivas is not sanctioned.
Tweeting directly to Whyte’s handler Eddie Hearn, one fan asked bluntly: “Will Oscar Rivas pass a medical for the Dillian Whyte fight? He’s had eye problems in the past. He had a show cancelled against Washington before.”
Another said: “The only problem with Dillian Whyte v Oscar Rivas is…will Rivas pass his medical with the BBBofC (British Board of Boxing Control). He has had a number of eye surgeries?”
Questions will surely be put to Hearn once the pair share the same room at a forthcoming press conference to be revealed soon.
Whyte and Rivas are due to trade blows on July 20 in London.