Deontay Wilder made the 7th defense of his WBC Heavyweight title in what many believed would be the most formidable opponent of his career against the highly-feared Luis "King Kong" Ortiz. There were a few concerns entering the fight from both camps. Wilder weighed in at a very low 214 pounds. Ortiz on the other hand was rumored to have an injured hand. Nevertheless, both opponents came to Brooklyn eager to make a statement.
It was suspected that Wilder came in at a low eight because he intended to utilize a lot of movement in his game plan. But that was not the case in the first few rounds. Wilder stood in front of Ortiz with subtle steps backwards. Neither fighter was able to mount a significant offense in the first few rounds. Wilder pawed with jab up top, but only appeared to throw it full speed when he aimed it towards to stomach of Ortiz. Ortiz attempted to pressure Deontay but missed wildly with shots at times. Ortiz even slipped in round 2 attempting a haymaker.
Both still appeared to be feeling each other out well into round 4 but Wilder began to put more snap on his jab, while Ortiz looked to slip and counter. Wilder was able to follow his jab with his powerful right hand on a few occasions. Ortiz landed his most significant punch up to that point, which was a straight left that made Wilder stumble backward. Round 5 was more of the same as Wilder continued with his jab. Ortiz found a little more success early in the round when he was able to close distance and land his straight left against Wilder. However that success would come abruptly to an end. Wilder landed his patented right hand that sent Ortiz stumbling backwards to the canvas seconds later.
That surely had to pick up the confidence of Wilder knowing he could hurt the wily veteran. The two began throwing heavy leather in round 6. Ortiz continued to look for his left hand in variation of hooks and straights. Wilder remained composed throughout the exchanges even though Ortiz landed a few powerful lefts that appeared to hurt Wilder. It was a good comeback round for Ortiz in a fight that was hard to score outside of Wilder's knockdown round. Ortiz hurt Wilder badly again in round 7 as the champion was almost out on his feet. Wilder however was able to survive the round. Ortiz appeared to be controlling the momentum heading into round 8.
Wilder was still hurt as Ortiz continued to land his left. But it was not as bad as the previous round where Wilder was practically out on his feet. Wilder didn’t throw anything effective as Ortiz continued to mount pressure. Both fighters appeared tired in round 8. It was a very sloppy round but Ortiz was the more effective.
Round 9 was a round where both tried to get their bearings back and get a second wind before heading into the championship rounds. In the latter stages of the round, Wilder was able to stun Ortiz with a left hook. Wilder made a switch to the southpaw stance in round 10 surprisingly and he was effective with it. He landed a powerful left that sent Ortiz to canvas and Wilder did not let up. He followed it up with another knockdown and this time the referee would not let Ortiz continue. As always the technique was not the best from Wilder, but at the end of the day he was able to make a slight adjustment that allowed him to capitalize on his devastating power.
The demand was already there for Wilder to face unified champion Anthony Joshua of the UK, but with this knockout victory over an opponent that no other top contender was willing to face, the demand will boom and there is no doubt that the unification between Wilder and Joshua will indeed pack out Wembley in the same manner that Joshua did when he faced Wladimir Klitschko. Deontay Wilder improved his record to 40-0 with an impressive 39 KOs with the victory. Anthony Joshua is scheduled to face WBO champion Joseph Parker at the end of the month in what should make for a great build-up fight. However, for those expecting the two to fight this year (including Deontay Wilder himself), think again. If Joshua is successful, he will then have 3 belts in which he has to prepare to make mandatory bouts for. We can only hope for the best with this situation. The heavyweight division has been void of enthusiastic names over the last decade and this bout would definitely put the division in the limelight that it once held.