Promoter Yvon Michel has revealed Oscar Rivas was a consideration for Anthony Joshua before signing on to fight Dillian Whyte.
Rivas will battle Whyte at The O2 on July 20 but did throw his hat into the ring for Joshua on June 1 prior to the official announcement.
“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York. Representations were made.
“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy to be earning an eventual World title opportunity. Also by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”
The man himself added: ‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time. Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer. A world class fighter and the number one contender.
“He deserves all my respect for his accomplishments. I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.
“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated. I’m planning to keep my perfect record. After July 20, my quest is to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”
“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot. But as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war.
“We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”
The winner of Whyte v Rivas will be the WBC number one contender. They will be in a position to challenge Deontay Wilder in the next twelve months.