Heavyweight contender Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs) is close to finalizing a multi-fight promotional deal with Top Rank, according to The Montreal Journal.

Rivas has been out of the ring since losing a twelve round unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte last July at the O2 Arena in London. The contest had the WBC's interim title at stake. Whyte went down in the ninth round, but ultimately outworked Rivas to the finish line.

During that time period, Rivas was in serious negotiations to reach a deal with Top Rank - but those plans were put on hold when he was offered a lucrative deal to face Whyte in the main event of a Sky Sports Boxing Office card. It was carried in the United States by DAZN.

At the start of last year, Rivas picked up a twelfth round stoppage over veteran Bryant Jennings.

He was present in Verona, New York on Saturday night, to support GYM promotional stablemate Eleider Alvarez as he knocked out Michael Seals. Alvarez is co-promoted by GYM and Top Rank.

The deal is being finalized with the manager of Rivas, Stéphane Lépine.

According to The Journal, the first fight of this agreement would take place on March 28, when IBF, WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev defends his world titles against mandatory challenger Fanlong Meng at the Videotron Center in Quebec.

Top Rank has been beefing up their heavyweight stock in the last few weeks, as they are also closing in on deal with undefeated Jarrell Miller and Olympic gold medal winner Tony Yoka. Top Rank also has their biggest heavyweight name, Tyson Fury, who faces WBC world champion Deontay Wilder next month in Las Vegas.

Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org