There's something I've been noticing in the last few chapters. Rather, I've been noticing an absence of involvement with regard to a certain character. She still appears in the background and such, but has had no speaking roles for quite a while, breaking stride from other chapters. And instead, all that attention has been going to another similarly effeminate character. I am of course talking about Rebecca and Cavendish, respectively. Yes, it seems that Oda wants us to divert our attention to Cavendish rather than Rebecca. This vexes me somewhat, considering the upcoming battle royale, in which they will both be participating and due to their involvement in the plot so far, are the two favored to win by readers. Rebecca so far has been just as central a character as Cavendish and yet she's being shunted aside to allow room for Cavendish to reap some extra attention, though I doubt the handsome blond gentleman in the hat minds too much. I can think of a few possible reasons behind this.
The first possible reason for the focus shift is that Oda has something planned for Rebecca that wouldn't work if she were getting as much attention now as she just was. Think of it sort of like a literary slight of hand. Oda keeps our attention focused on Cavendish so that when it is time for Rebecca's big moment, it's a surprise to everyone, reader and character alike. What this special moment is, I don't know. It could be an under dog victory or she could be someone from Luffy's past (remember how Garp was the last friendly person in a mask they met?) and her moment is her big reveal.
Or, Oda wants us to get more attached to Cavendish for whatever the reason. He is going to be featured in the next fight, maybe this is Oda's way of getting the reader to warm up to him a bit and make us think he isn't just some asshole out to kill Luffy. Then again, it wasn't like Oda over-exposed the reader to Rebecca. Yeah, he built her character a bit more than he did with Cavendish, but Cavendish hasn't exactly gone through any development during all this attention either.
I know what you're thinking. What does this have to do with the fight? I was just getting to that. Oda right now is building Cavendish up quite a lot with this exposure. You've all played with blocks when you were kids, what happened when the tower got too big? It fell down. This makes me think that Oda is trying to build up Cavendish more than Rebecca because Cavendish is going to play a bigger role in the next fight than she will. Whether or not that means he's going to win, couldn't tell you. I just know that he is going to be the guy to watch in the next few chapters, more so than Rebecca or any of the other stories going on.