Beware the ‘Bronze Bomber’.
Deontay Wilder successfully retained his WBC heavyweight world title for the 10th time on Saturday night, producing a bone-juddering knockout against Luis Ortiz in Las Vegas.
Wilder was in trouble for much of the fight, with 42-year-old Ortiz out-boxing the American in the opening six rounds at the MGM.
Ortiz was ahead on all three scorecards when the fight entered the seventh round.
But Wilder has a get out of jail free card in the form of the dynamite in his right hand, which left Ortiz passing go so many times that he was too dizzy to stand.
After being second best for the opening 18 minutes of the fight, one punch sent Ortiz crashing to the canvas.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 24, 2019
The Cuban forced his way back to his feet, but the referee had seen enough.
Wilder’s victory – which extends his unbeaten record to 42-0-1 – sees him equal Muhammad Ali’s record of 10 successful world heavyweight title defences.
The 34-year-old also knocked Ortiz out in the 10th round of their 2018 fight, having been rocked by the Cuban in the seventh.
“My opponent has to be perfect for 12 rounds, and I only have to be perfect for one second.”Wilder ahead of his rematch with Ortiz
After inflicting the 41st knockout of his professional career in the early hours of Sunday morning, Wilder declared himself to be the hardest hitting puncher in boxing history.
The unbeaten American has a staggering knockout ratio of 95.3%, and has only gone the full distance twice.
The first time Wilder failed to knockout an opponent was in 2015, when he defeated Bermane Stiverne by unanimous decision to claim the WBC world heavyweight title at the MGM.
However, Wilder then knocked Stiverne out in the first round when the two fighters met again in Brooklyn in 2017.
Tyson Fury is the only other boxer to go a full 12 rounds with the ‘Bronze Bomber’, drawing a thrilling world title fight with Wilder in LA last year despite being floored twice.
“He’s (Wilder) the biggest puncher not just in heavyweight history, but in boxing history.”Tyson Fury’s coach Ben Davison
Fury out-boxed Wilder for the majority of the bout, but went down in the ninth, and crumpled to the canvas after a concussive combination from the champion in the 12th.
Miraculously, Fury beat the count, and saw out the fight to claim a controversial draw, with many observers feeling the ‘Gypsy King’ should have won the fight.
The heavyweight rivals are now set to meet again in 2020 in a hotly-anticipated rematch of last year’s fight.
Fury is the more skilled pugilist, but lacks the firepower that Wilder possesses.
The ‘Gypsy King’ has been typically vocal ahead of their prospective rematch, claiming on Twitter that Wilder “has nothing more than a puncher’s chance” when they meet in the ring for the second time.
However, Fury himself has previously labelled Wilder as the biggest puncher in history.
Wilder is often mocked for his wild and unorthodox style, but power trumps panache for the Alabama fighter.
He will never be the most skillful or graceful fighter in the world, but he is arguably the most dangerous.
Wilder throws punches from unusual and unorthodox angles, and is incredibly fast for a 6″7 fighter.
The American has even hospitalized four of his trainers at the Skyy Gym in Tuscaloosa.
The former Olympian’s head coach Jay Deas told BT Sport that a punch from Wilder in training forced Deas to undergo hernia surgery, despite wearing a body suit at the time.
Wilder also dislocated coach Mark Breland’s shoulder and fractured trainer Damarius Hill’s thumb.
Audley Harrison, who suffered a knockout at the hands of Wilder, has also revealed that the American almost detached Harrison’s retina in sparring.
As Wilder repeatedly states, his opponents have to be perfect for 12 rounds, but he only has to be perfect for one second.
Ortiz claimed to be in the best shape of his life for his rematch against the ‘Bronze Bomber,’ and his performance was certainly impressive, but one punch changed everything.
Fury, who was superb against Wilder given his lengthy layoff and well-documented issues, was given a taste of that bone-shaking power that in the ninth and 12th rounds of their fight.
The English fighter somehow managed to come back from Wilder’s devastating combination in the final round, but hitting the canvas cost him a victory on the scorecards.
Given the fact that Anthony Joshua has been knocked out by Andy Ruiz, knocked down by Wladimir Klitschko and wobbled by Alexander Povetkin, Wilder will fancy his chances of finishing any potential unification fight (should Joshua defeat Ruiz in their rematch) with a right hand at any stage in the fight.
A second successive defeat for Joshua would see the Olympic gold medalist’s stock plummet, but a victory would put him right back into contention for a mouth-watering unification fight against the winner of Fury and Wilder.
Should he lose, it will be Andy Ruiz aiming to dethrone Wilder and unify the division.
With Joshua becoming the first of the trio to taste defeat, and Fury labouring to an unconvincing victory over Otto Wallin in his last fight, it is Wilder who has the best claim to pronounce himself as the baddest heavyweight on the planet.
The battle to be crowned undisputed heavyweight king goes on.
Bring it on.