Tyson Fury would find “the best challenge” by fighting Oscar Rivas in his planned homecoming, says the Colombian’s co-promoter.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury has insisted a third fight with Deontay Wilder is now off the table and he instead plans a title defence in the UK in December, before meeting Anthony Joshua next year.
Fury tweeted on Monday, suggesting he would no longer face Wilder in Las Vegas: “The Gypsy King is coming home. See you all in December.”
Rivas, a former opponent of Dillian Whyte who shares a US-based promoter with Fury in Top Rank, has emerged as a viable option.
“Oscar is fit, available, ranked No 8 by the WBC and would gladly take the challenge,” his co-promoter Yvon Michel told Sky Sports.
“Now for December I believe Oscar would be the best and the logical choice for Fury in his first title defence.
“We know Fury loves challenges and fights for the fans. Fury has written the best story of all for a fighter who became a heavyweight champion of the world and I am sure he is aware of Rivas’ story.
“Rivas would be the best challenge and a fan-friendly fight.
“Oscar is in training and was supposed to fight on December 19 as co-feature on the Fury vs Wilder fight.”
Fury’s trainer Sugarhill Steward exclusively told Sky Sports: “Tyson and myself agree that another fight in 2020 makes sense, in sticking with the original plan to fight this year, period.
“I am really excited to see Tyson in the ring again to once again watch him grow into a fighter which the world anticipates viewing his future bouts henceforth in his career.”
Colombian-born, Canada-based Rivas is the highest-ranked available WBC contender.
Oleksandr Usyk fights Derek Chisora on October 31 and Whyte will rematch Alexander Povetkin on November 21, both live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Luis Ortiz, Joseph Parker and Daniel Dubois already have fights lined up and Andy Ruiz Jr is still finalising his comeback.
WBC heavyweight rankings
Champion: Tyson Fury
Mandatory challenger: Alexander Povetkin
No 1: Deontay Wilder
No 2: Oleksandr Usyk
No 3: Luis Ortiz
No 4: Andy Ruiz Jr
No 5: Dillian Whyte
No 6: Joseph Parker
No 7: Daniel Dubois
No 8: Oscar Rivas
No 9: Filip Hrgovic
No 10: Michael Hunter
“[Rivas] will be at the top of an elite pool of fighters in the division who will have a big say,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Sky Sports when they re-signed him earlier this year.
Rivas has won 26 of his 27 fights – his only loss came on his sole visit to the UK, when he was outpointed by Whyte.
“How ironic it would be to see Rivas fighting for the WBC heavyweight world title before Whyte who is trying to salvage his career in his next fight against Povetkin,” Michel added.
“Rivas proved he belongs with the top heavyweight contenders in the world. He has the skill and he is very dangerous for 12 rounds!
“Not only did he knock down Whyte in the ninth round but he had him hurt in the 12th also! He KO’d Bryant Jennings in the 12th round of their fight prior to the Whyte contest.
“A Fury vs Rivas fight would be a very intriguing and significant fight that will create awareness and attention everywhere.
“The selection of Rivas is a logical and the best possible choice, no doubt about it!”
Why isn’t Fury fighting Wilder?
A trilogy fight for the WBC heavyweight title was contracted ever since Fury demolished Wilder earlier this year in their second meeting.
Fury told The Athletic: “Wilder and his team were messing around with the date.
“Then they asked me if I would agree to push it to December. I agreed to December 19.
“Then they tried to change the date again into next year. I’ve been training. I’m ready.
“When they tried moving off December 19 and pushing to next year, enough was enough. I’ve moved on.”
Frank Warren, Fury’s UK-based promoter, told TalkSport: “Tyson has said enough is enough, he is not going to wait longer and he will fight in London in December.”
But Wilder’s team retain hope.
Shelly Finkel, his co-manager, told Sky Sports that reports of a cancellation are false. He said: “They are wrong, we will fight in December.”
Will Fury still fight Joshua?
The undisputed title is still set to be decided in 2021 between WBC champion Fury and IBF, WBA and WBO holder Joshua.
Joshua must first come through his next defence against Kubrat Pulev.
Promoter Eddie Hearn previously told Sky Sports about Joshua vs Fury: “It’s our job to paper it, dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and make sure the ink is dry.
“We want two fights in 2021. May to the end of June is likely for the first fight with the second falling in November or December.”
Sky Sports schedule
Ritson vs Vazquez – Oct 17, live on Sky Sports
Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Thomas Patrick Ward
Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr
Taylor vs Gutierrez – Nov 14, live on Sky Sports
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
Rachel Ball vs Ebanie Bridges
Jamie Cox vs Jack Cullen
John Docherty vs Jack Arnfield
Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
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