Top Rank’s heavyweight stable swelled further today with its signing of former Olympian Oscar Rivas, who enters into a “multi-fight promotional agreement” with Bob Arum and co. alongside Groupe Yvon Michel.
Here comes the— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 13, 2020
Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas has signed a multi-fight promotional agreement with Top Rank, adding to the loaded TR Heavyweight roster.
Rivas will return to an ESPN platform this year. pic.twitter.com/OH5Ndu3DAZ
“I am very proud and excited to join forces with Top Rank. I thank Top Rank for believing in me,” Rivas said. “I also want to thank my manager, Stéphane Lepine, and my promoter, Yvon Michel, for their leadership and guidance from the beginning of my career.
“I am still a bit bitter over the circumstances surrounding my last fight in London against Dillian Whyte, and I hope that one day we will fight a rematch on an even playing field. As for Dillian, I know he will do all he can to avoid this, but nothing will ever stop me from becoming a world champion. I am ready to take on any challenge.”
Rivas (26-1, 18 KO), born in Colombia and based in Montreal, spent the first nine or so years of his professional career munching on subpar foes, nobody more notable than former European title challenger Herve Hubeaux and washed-up UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado. Then Top Rank gave him a crack at Bryant Jennings, whom Rivas stormed back to put away in the final round in January of last year.
The win set up a WBC interim title bout with Dillian Whyte, which saw Rivas floor “The Body Snatcher” but ultimately walk away with a competitive decision loss. The outcome was swiftly overshadowed by controversy, as Whyte failed a drug test before fight night and the commission declined to inform Rivas’ team. Though the BBBofC ultimately cleared Whyte, Rivas clearly isn’t satisfied with their ruling.
As Top Rank’s press release mentions, they’ve build up a decent little collection of big men, including Jarrell Miller, Agit Kabayel, Carlos Takam, and amateur standout Jared Anderson. I could dig Rivas-Kabayel, though I expect Rivas to face a lesser foe as part of the proposed March 28th Artur Beterbiev-Meng Fanlong show in Quebec.