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Heavyweight Oscar Rivas inks co-promotional deal with Top Rank

Top Rank continues to build its heavyweight stable, announcing the expected signing of contender Oscar Rivas to a multifight co-promotional contract on Thursday.

"Top Rank is in the heavyweight business, and we are pleased to be partnering with Yvon Michel to help Oscar get to the next level," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "He fits right in the heavyweight picture and has the skills and toughness to compete against anyone in the division."

Rivas, who will continue to be co-promoted by Michel, does not have his next fight set, but it will take place later this year on an ESPN platform.

"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, Stephane Lepine, and my promoter, Yvon Michel, for their leadership and guidance from the beginning of my career."

Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs), 32, was a 2008 Colombian Olympian but has boxed out of Montreal since turning pro in 2009. He notched his biggest win in January 2019 when he stopped former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in the 12th round in Verona, New York.

In his next fight, for a vacant interim heavyweight world title, Rivas traveled to London and lost a competitive unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte, whom he knocked down in the ninth round. However, the fight was tainted in controversy because Whyte had been allowed to fight by British regulators despite having tested positive for a banned substance, which the Rivas team had not been informed of.

"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," Rivas said.

"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 joins a Top Rank heavyweight stable that also includes lineal champion Tyson Fury, Kubrat Pulev, Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller, Agit Kabayel, Carlos Takam and prospects Guido Vianello, Sonny Conto and Jared Anderson. As an amateur, Rivas scored victories against Pulev and former unified world titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr.

"Oscar Rivas is ready to send a strong message, as he has the style to beat any heavyweight on any given day," said Michel, who also co-promotes former light heavyweight world titlist Eleider "Storm" Alvarez with Top Rank.