The stakes are high for the bout in London after confirmation that the winner will become the mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder's WBC belt and also claim the 'interim' championship.
That is particularly meaningful for a frustrated Whyte, who has been ranked as the top contender by the WBC since November 2017 and chased a world title shot to no avail, rejecting the chance to rematch Anthony Joshua earlier this year before being overlooked in favour of Dominic Breazeale as Wilder's mandatory.
A 10th successive victory for Whyte - who secured a second triumph over domestic rival Dereck Chisora in December - would mean he would effectively get that chance before the end of May 2020, with Wilder looking set for rematches against both Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury.
Standing in his way is 'Kaboom' Rivas, a 32-year-old with an unblemished 26-0 (18 KOs) professional record who usually fights out of Canada.
An accomplished amateur boxer and Pan-American Games silver medalist who beat both Joshua's conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr and Kubrat Pulev - the latter at the 2008 Olympics - before turning pro, Rivas is confident of derailing Whyte's plans for the future.
His last fight came in January, when he secured a career-best win in the final round against former world title challenger Bryant Jennings at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Date, UK start time and venue
Whyte vs Rivas takes place on Saturday July 20 at The O2 Arena in southeast London.
Ringwalks for the main event are not expected to take place before 10:30pm BST.
TV channel and live stream
Whyte vs Rivas will be live on Sky Sports Box Office.
UK customers can purchase the fight for £19.95 (€24.95 for those in the Republic of Ireland) up until midnight on Friday July 19.
Those prices still apply to self-service bookings (remote control and online) made after that time, but telephone bookings are set at £24.95 (€29.95 ROI). Sky note that "an additional £2 booking fee if via an agent still applies".
Undercard coverage begins at 6pm BST.
Betting odds | Provided by Betfair | Subject to change (UK and Ireland only)
- Whyte win: 1/5
- Rivas win: 16/5
- Draw: 25/1
Method of victory
- Whyte by decision/technical decision: 11/10
- Whyte by KO/TKO: 13/8
- Rivas by decision/technical decision: 11/2
- Rivas by KO/TKO: 17/2
A potentially explosive bout between two huge punchers certainly should not go the distance and, while Whyte will start as the clear favourite, he will need to be careful not to underestimate a dangerous opponent in Rivas who Tony Bellew has compared to a less-talented Mike Tyson for his power and 'short, stout style'.
After spending so long as the WBC's No1-ranked contender, it is hard to see 'The Body Snatcher' letting this golden opportunity slip through his grasp.
Whyte to win via a typically devastating knockout in the mid-to-late rounds.
Whyte vs Rivas isn't the only heavyweight showdown to look forward to on Saturday. Dave Allen and David Price also lock horns in an eagerly-anticipated domestic battle, while Chisora takes on former WBC world title challenger Artur Szpilka.
London cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie also defends his WBA continental strap against Mariano Angel Gudino of Argentina.
- Dave Allen vs David Price
- Dereck Chisora vs Artur Szpilka
- Lawrence Okolie vs Mariano Angel Gudino
- Richard Riakporhe vs Chris Billam-Smith
- Charlie Duffield vs Dan Azeez
- Fabio Wardley vs Mariano Ruben Diaz Strunz
- Dalton Smith vs Reece Smith
- Alen Babic vs Morgan Dessaux