VOW Nutrition sponsored a great night of Boxing at the O2 which saw Richard Riakporhe defend his WBA Intercontinental title against Chris Billiam-Smith in a very exciting all British Cruiserweight battle and Dillian Whyte climbed off the floor in a desperate ninth round to claim a unanimous decision with a great performance against Oscar Rivas.
Whyte now becomes the interim WBC champion and the mandatory challenger to the title currently held by Deontay Wilder. That opportunity, according to the WBC, must arrive by May 2020 but Wilder is first expected to rematch Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury.
Outgunning the previously unbeaten Rivas was Whyte's 10th win in a row but provides him with his most important step towards a world title so far.
Rivas, compact and strong like a pitbull, flew out of his corner in the first round and immediately quietened the crowd by throwing heavy shots at the home favourite. One right hand flew ominously close to Whyte's head.
But Whyte then asserted himself in a barnstorming second round where he almost finished Rivas off.
Whyte's jab kept Rivas honest for the next few rounds, with both boxers forced to respect each other's power.
Rivas, whose impressive amateur credentials saw him defeat Ruiz Jr and go to the 2008 Olympics, found himself unable to get inside the ramrod jab that Whyte kept dishing out.
Rivas had a good eighth round which he spent picking at Whyte's body, but it was still the London man who threw the meatiest punch with another uppercut.
It was when Whyte seemed at his most comfortable that he was knocked down.
Rivas landed a big uppercut in the ninth round which sent Whyte slumping to the floor for the third time in his career.
Whyte was forced into survival mode but his legs held firm and he heard the bell to the end of the round.
They were both hurt and tired in the 10th but they continued whipping punches and Whyte had the final say with a right hand.
Whyte's powerful jab and right-hand combo kept Rivas at bay for the final two rounds, enabling the home fighter to claim a deserved victory. He took two judges' scores of 115-112 and one of 116-111.