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Dillian Whyte survives ninth-round knockdown to outpoint Oscar Rivas

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Leading heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte 26-1 (18) overcame a ninth-round knockdown to outpoint Oscar Rivas 26-1 (18) over 12 rounds at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.

But ‘The Body Snatcher’ was less than impressed with the judges’ scorecards.

“Two of the judges was drunk,” Whyte wrote on Twitter after being awarded the victory by scores of 115-112 twice and 116-111.

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With the win Whyte is all but guaranteed a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next year.

Colombian Rivas, 32, was competitive throughout the bout, but it was Whyte’s superior jab that largely controlled much of the action.

In the ninth round Whyte almost saw his world title ambitions evaporate when a slicing uppercut split his guard and sent him tumbling to the canvas.

The 31-year-old Londoner survived the count before navigating his way to a points victory.

Whyte said he is looking forward to a world title shot but said it wouldn’t happen at short notice.

“We’re not just going to jump into it, we need a proper camp, we need to train properly, we need to be strategic,” he said.

“I’m number one for a reason, as I keep proving. So they are going to come to us correctly, give us time to prepare.

“We need time to prepare for someone like that because Deontay Wilder is long, he’s rangy. We’re not going to go into that fight at four weeks’ notice, we need proper time to prepare and get everything done properly and correctly.”

Whyte also insisted that he wasn’t hurt by the ninth-round knockdown.

“I ended up crossing my legs, I was trying to cover the distance quick enough… I just crossed my leg but it won’t happen again,” he said.

“I wasn’t hurt, I got back up and I won the rest of the round and I won every round after that.”

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