On Saturday, July 20th, Matchroom Boxing will be live from the O2 Arena in London, England, with an event featuring a heavyweight title eliminator fight between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas. The winner of this bout will take a huge step toward a WBC heavyweight title shot.
Also on the main card portion of the show are two additional heavyweight fights with Dave Allen taking on David Price in a UK battle and Dereck Chisora taking on Artur Szpilka.
In total, there are at least eight fights scheduled for this event, which will air on DAZN for fans in America and other major countries outside of the UK. This boxing card is set to begin at 1 PM ET on DAZN.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, boxing betting sites are only listing odds for the top three fights on the card.
With that said, let’s take a look at these odds, identify any value or potential upsets, and KO our picks:
Dereck Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) vs Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs)
Dereck Chisora (-350)
Artur Szpilka (+260)
Chisora is the betting favorite despite being an underdog in several fights over the last few years. He’s on a two-fight win streak but doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in bettors.
Szpilka has been the favorite in his last three fights but will be the underdog in this contest. It’s the first time that Chisora is the underdog since fighting Deontay Wilder in January 2016.
I do think Artur Szpilka is worthy of a small flier for those risk-takers out there.
Chisora vs Szpilka Preview
Szpilka is on a two-fight win streak after dropping two in a row from 2016 to 2017. Granted, he lost to Wilder and Kownacki. With that said, his last two wins weren’t that impressive. But he does provide action inside the ring, and that’s exactly what’s expected this weekend.
Szpilka has the slight height and reach advantage, but I give the advantage of power and experience to Chisora. Additionally, Artur hasn’t scored a knockout in over four years. He’s been knocked out twice since then.
For this fight, Szpilka believes it will be crazy and violent:
“I chose this fight because we are both crazy men and it’s going to be a crazy fight! Chisora is a good fighter, he is bull strong and he can box well. He turns up to every fight in great condition, so I know it is going to be a tough night for me. We are both warriors who like to fight, this will be violent.”
There’s no reason to think that this fight won’t be crazy and violent. Both men aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe and punch for punch. In fact, neither would be considered great boxers, but they both have reputations for entering into brawls.
Chisora fought in April and won via UD. He bounced back from a loss to Dillian Whyte last December via KO in the 11th round. That was the second time that Chisora had lost to Whyte as they also fought in December 2016. Whyte won their first bout via split decision.
Chisora has the power to hang with anyone, but he’s not the most technical of fighters. Additionally, he feels more like a gatekeeper than a contender. His trainer wants him to tear apart Szpilka in this fight.
It’s entirely possible that could happen, but it’s also possible that Chisora could suffer his tenth career loss.
Who Wins This Heavyweight Brawl?
This fight won’t have much of an effect on the heavyweight division, but it will be an entertaining opener to the main card if the promoters schedule it that way. It’s two fighters willing to exchange punches and go for the knockout.
Both men have been knocked out three times apiece, so I see this fight having a great chance to end inside the distance.
I don’t have much confidence in either fighter. However, I’m less confident in Szpilka than I am with Chisora.
For this bout, I’m taking Chisora to win. If you decide to wager on him, place a small one.
Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) vs David Price (24-6, 19 KOs)
Dave Allen (-260)
David Price (+220)
David Price comes into this contest as the underdog after being the betting favorite in his last two bouts. This is the third time that Price has been an underdog in his last 10 fights. David was an underdog against Sergey Kuzmin and Alexander Povetkin.
This will be the fourth straight fight that Allen is a betting favorite. He was last an underdog when he fought Nick Webb 12 months ago.
Both fighters have some value in this close contest. Allen is a relatively small favorite while Price is a decent underdog worthy of a flier.
Allen vs Price Preview
David Price enters this heavyweight clash on a two-fight win streak. In March, Price won via DQ over Kash Ali, who bit David during the fight. Ali was 15-0 at the time of their fight.
Prior to his wins over Ali and Little, Price had dropped two straight contests to Sergey Kuzmin and Alexander Povetkin.
Following Povetkin’s win, he would go on to drop all of his belts to Anthony Joshua last fall.
Price does have world title fight experience in addition to fighting for regional titles. However, he is treating this fight like a world title fight since Price can’t afford to lose again:
“This is massive, this is probably the biggest fight of my career. But it’s not the first time I’ve been in a crossroads fight, so to speak, because as soon as you’ve lost a couple of fights, every fight is a so-called crossroads fight. But this one to me is so big because of what is potentially on the other side that it’s like my world title fight.”
Price will have a seven-inch reach advantage and is five inches taller than Allen. However, these advantages haven’t always translated into wins for Price over the last few years. Since February 2017, Price is 3-3 over the last six fights.
In his career, Price does have six losses with all of them coming via KO/TKO.
David Allen enters this co-main event bout on a four-fight win streak. He’s bounced back from a loss to Tony Yoka 13 months ago by winning these last four fights in convincing fashion. Three of those four wins have come via TKO/KO.
Ironically, Allen’s first loss in his career came to Dillian Whyte two years ago via UD. Allen is definitely looking toward a potential rematch against Whyte if he can get past Price this weekend. Allen seems to struggle against fighters who are perceived to be more talented or have the advantage in power.
In addition to losing to Yoka and Whyte, Allen also lost to Luis Ortiz, who was 26-0 when they fought.
These two men almost faced each other in 2016, but the fight didn’t come to fruition. With that said, Allen has admitted he probably would’ve lost then. But Allen believes that fighting Price this weekend was the perfect time to do so because he will win:
“When I first called out Price in 2016, that was me trying to get the biggest fight that I could and possibly win, and I believed Price was that man. He’d just been beat by Erkan Teper and I thought that I had a chance, but looking back, there was no way I would’ve won. I spent 2016 fighting the likes of Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz, both guys who would beat Price, but I had to take those fights then because no one knew who I was and I thought I’d try and get in there and give a good account of myself. Three years on I’m a much better fighter and I think this is the right time for me to fight Price.”
Will Price Save His Career?
I think Price is spot on in his assessment of the timing for this fight. Price would’ve beaten him in 2016. However, in 2019, Price appears to have many concerns as a fighter. He has stamina issues and a suspect chin with six KO/TKO losses in his career.
I have a hard time thinking Price is going to win this fight.
With that said, he does have a puncher’s chance, which is why oddsmakers believe this is a close fight.
I think that Allen is undervalued in this matchup, and I’m picking him to win via TKO in the latter rounds of this contest.
️ “I've been waiting for an opportunity like this for years!" – Oscar Rivas #WhyteRivas
Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) vs Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs)
Dillian Whyte (-470)
Oscar Rivas (+375)
Prior to his upset win, Andy Ruiz was probably the most underrated heavyweight in the sport. Now that he has defeated Anthony Joshua, Ruiz has become one of the most popular athletes in the division, and Dillian Whyte will now carry the mantle as the most underrated heavyweight.
Whyte enters this contest on a nine-fight win streak and is the betting favorite. He was an underdog two fights ago against the talented Joseph Parker but won that fight via UD. Before that fight, Whyte was the favorite spanning a period of three years.
Oscar Rivas is another unheralded heavyweight that enters this bout as the underdog for the second straight fight. Rivas is undefeated and will be traveling to Whyte’s home country.
When you take that into consideration, it’s a surprise that Rivas isn’t a bigger underdog. I believe he is a risky option for a flier but does offer a nice return if he can pull off the upset.
Whyte vs Rivas Preview
Oscar Rivas has everything to gain in this fight, and Whyte has everything to lose. Dillian is the top-ranked opponent for WBC champ Deontay Wilder and #3 ranked in both the WBO and WBA. A loss to Rivas would destroy his chances at a title opportunity in his next fight.
For Rivas, a win would put him near the top of any of the four belts. Currently, Rivas is ranked 5th with the WBO, 8th in the IBF, 10th in the WBC, and 7th with the WBA.
On paper, some might think that Rivas has no chance based on his lengthy resume of fighting regional fighters.
However, that all changed with his TKO win over Bryant Jennings, who held multiple regional and international belts. The win cemented Rivas as a top-10 contender in all four boxing organizations and announced his arrival to the heavyweight title scene.
For his part, Rivas isn’t afraid of traveling to the UK to fight Whyte on his turf. In fact, Rivas believes that his skills, technique, speed, and power will be enough to earn him a win in what he says could be a fight of the year candidate:
“Whyte is a really strong guy, but I think with my technique, my speed, my power, my experience, I’m going to get on top. That’s a guy that I can beat, but he’s strong, so I have to be very well prepared, and I will be. Each of us will show what we’re made of on Saturday and we can produce one of the best fights of the year. It’s going to be an explosive fight. I cannot wait until the bell rings and then I’m going to make sure that I’m going to continue my rise. I know that Whyte is going to try to make me lose my first fight, but it won’t happen. I don’t give predictions, but I can say this, I’m going to be the last man standing.”
Rivas does have a 69% knockout rate as he’s stopped 18 opponents in 26 pro fights. When looking over his career, Rivas has only fought three opponents with losing records at the time of their fights. Regional or not, Rivas has beaten everyone they put in front of him and has risen up the ranks.
Whyte might have one loss on his career, which came against Anthony Joshua in December 2015, but he is widely considered by many pundits to be the one heavyweight that nobody wants to fight.
He also has a 69% knockout rate and has scored three KO/TKO wins in the last five fights. He last stepped inside the ring against Chisora last December. He finished off the rugged Chisora with a KO in the 11th round.
Despite not getting a title shot, Whyte is excited to fight at the O2 and has been very complimentary of his opponent Rivas:
“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July. Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years. His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.”
Can Rivas Pull off the Upset?
I do give Rivas a puncher’s chance in this fight. He surprised many pundits and fans with his TKO win over Bryant Jennings six months ago. He’s undefeated but is giving up a few inches in height and reach to Whyte.
Rivas’ best chance at winning is to outbox Whyte and avoid giving up clean power shots. Additionally, if he can outwork Whyte and show off his athleticism, then there is a shot at pulling off the upset.
However, that is a lot of “ifs,” and I’m not sure if he’s ready to succeed at this level. If he were fighting in Canada, then I would give him more of a chance at winning, but this fight is in the UK, and I believe Whyte is going to edge out Rivas in this one.
Both men have knockout power and will be looking for it on Saturday. However, I think there’s a good chance that the heavyweight bout will go the distance if Rivas is as good as people claim.
Either way, I like Whyte to get the win and put himself in a title fight sooner than later.
Boxing Bet: Dillian Whyte (-470)
Final Thoughts on Whyte vs Rivas Boxing Event
The main card has three heavyweight fights that will offer some entertainment value and risky betting value if an upset can take place. I like the Whyte vs Rivas matchup as I believe the winner will be in line for a title shot against Wilder. It will also boost both men in the rankings for other sanctioning bodies.
The great thing about this fight being in the UK is that it will be over with well before the Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman fight on Saturday night, which is the main course for this weekend. That means we can get an entire day of boxing action provided that you have DAZN as they will stream the Whyte vs Rivas fight.
Matchroom Boxing: Whyte vs Rivas Full Card
The following card is according to Matchroom Boxing’s official website:
Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas in a 12-round heavyweight contest
Dereck Chisora vs Artur Szpilka in a 10-round heavyweight fight
Dave Allen vs David Price in a 10-round heavyweight bout
Lawrence Okolie vs TBA in a 12-round cruiserweight bout for Okolie’s regional titles
Richard Riakporhe vs Chris Billam-Smith in a 10-round cruiserweight fight
Charlie Duffield vs Dan Azeez in a 10-round light heavyweight bout
Fabio Wardley vs TBA in a heavyweight fight
Dalton Smith vs TBA in a super lightweight bout
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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