By Luke Furman
After his big victory earlier this year, heavyweight contender Oscar Rivas became a very wanted man.
Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) scored a knockout win over highly rated veteran Bryant Jennings back in January in the main event of a Top Rank card from the Turning Stone Casino in New York, and the contest was showcased by ESPN.
The victory generated a lot of interest from Top Rank, who have an exclusive content deal with ESPN.
Rivas' close friend, former light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez, is under a co-promotional deal with Top Rank.
Rivas was about to follow Alvarez, by signing a multi-fight co-promotional agreement with with ESPN and Top Rank.
Both Rivas and Alvarez are promoted in Canada by Yvon Michel of GYM.
If Rivas would have signed the deal, he would have returned on June 15th in Las Vegas, as part of the undercard to Tyson Fury's fight with Tom Schwarz.
But then he received a very lucrative offer, from promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, to fight top contender Dillian Whyte in a high profile fight on July 20th at the O2 Arena in London. The contest will be carried by streaming service DAZN, and on pay-per-view in the UK through Sky Sports Box Office.
The offer to face Whyte is reportedly worth over $1 million.
"I was a little lucky. My manager Stephane Lepine was about to have the [Top Rank] papers in hand for me to sign them," said Rivas to The Montreal Journal.
"However, my promoter Yvon Michel told him to wait for a few days before completing them. He mentioned that certain things are moving and that I could receive an interesting offer."
After his victory against Jennings, Rivas had mentioned that his right shoulder had been hurting him for a few weeks.
"Rest and physiotherapy treatments did me a lot of good," said Rivas. "I am comfortable now. I have no worries about my next training camp. I'll be able to push the machine all the way."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.