Boxing news: Tyson Fury turned me down to prepare for Anthony Joshua – Rivas EXCLUSIVE

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TYSON FURY takes on a game, undefeated heavyweight in Tom Schwarz this weekend. But Dillian Whyte’s next opponent Oscar Rivas came close to securing a chance at glory under the Las Vegas lights too. Express Sport caught up with the Colombian to find out why that bout never materialised.

Lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury was expected to rematch Deontay Wilder for the Bronze Bomber’s WBC world title, having drawn the first fight in December.

Although many thought Fury had done enough to win, the judges at ringside saw things differently.

And now we sit days away from the Gypsy King’s Las Vegas debut against Schwarz, who many see as a proverbial bowling pin for Fury to knock down.

Rivas will fight Whyte at the O2 Arena on July 20 for the chance to put himself in a mandatory title position with the WBC.

The undefeated 32-year-old came inches from securing a huge chance to fight for lineal status against Fury, before the Brit’s camp decided against it for one reason.

“We were asked if we were interested in a fight with Tyson Fury and finally they decided to find someone else,” Rivas and his promoter Yvon Michel explained to Express Sport.

“They told us that they preferred to have someone taller to get Fury ready for Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

Rivas, who is 6ft 1, eight inches smaller than the all-encompassing Fury, believes there’s another reason the 30-year-old didn’t want to fight.

“But for me, I believe maybe they watched tape on me and said ‘maybe it will be a little bit too much fighting Oscar Rivas’,” he joked.

The Colombian had also set his sights on a clash with Anthony Joshua, who shockingly lost his world titles to Andy Ruiz Jr at the beginning of the month.

Joshua is now set to face Ruiz Jr in a rematch later this year for the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world titles.

“Fighting Anthony Joshua would be like touching heaven almost, touching the sky,” Rivas said.

“Obviously from early on in your career you always aim as high as possible.

“To climb in the ring with Anthony Joshua would be absolutely great.

“It would be something that shows how far I’ve progressed as a fighter, it would be a marvellous opportunity.”

If Rivas, who knocked out Bryant Jennings in his last fight, can come through Body Snatcher Whyte in July, he’ll put himself in a great position to challenge for Deontay Wilder’s WBC strap.

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