DILLIAN WHYTE did not have long to bask in his victory over Oscar Rivas. On July 20, the Brixton heavyweight unanimously outscored his dangerous and previously unbeaten opponent in an exciting encounter, during which he had to rise from the canvas. But just four days later, a report emerged stating that Whyte had failed a UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) test in the lead-up to the bout. It came to light that an independent panel had cleared the Londoner to take part in the contest at a hearing on the day of the fight, although Team Rivas had no knowledge of this hearing, or the failed test. Whyte has so far faced no sanction.
Despite the cloud hanging over him, Whyte continues his lengthy pursuit of a world title shot this Saturday (December 7) at Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia. The 31-year-old returns over 10 rounds on the Andy Ruiz Jnr-Anthony Joshua II undercard against seasoned Polish giant Mariusz Wach, live on Sky Sports Box Office (UK) and DAZN (US).
Whyte, 26-1 (18), and Wach, 35-5 (19), were first slated to meet back in June 2017, though a foot injury suffered by Whyte saw the match fall through. Wach subsequently lost three on the trot against decent foes, including two inside time. He has won his last couple early (in September and October), albeit versus rivals with a combined record of 8-35 going in. He can, however, boast that he went the distance with then-unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko just over seven years ago. Yet he did drop a comprehensive unanimous decision.