Deontay Wilder roared back to life to see off Luis Ortiz in the 10th round of a titanic heavyweight clash at the Barclays Centre in New York Saturday night.
WBC heavyweight champion Wilder, 32, was on the brink of a damaging defeat as Ortiz almost finished him off in the seventh, only for the wiry American to cling on and rebound with trademark ferocity in the 10th to move to 40-0 (39 KO)
The ‘bronze member’ had described Ortiz as his biggest test coming into the bout, and it proved right as the Cuban impressed with neat combinations in the opening rounds.
Ortiz, himself unbeaten before last night, was the first to land a heavy punch after a left hook and straight right wobbled Wilder.
But the Alabaman set the sparks going in the fifth, a lightning right after a dabbing jab landed flush on King Kong’s forehead and took him down for the first time in his professional career.
Wilder landed another hard right, but Ortiz, famous for his counter-punching, then troubled the American with a classic countering right followed by a big left hook that left his 6ft 7in opponent stunned.
Both men traded blows in a wild finish to the eighth, with Wiler’s cocked right missing more then it hit in the ninth as the New York crowd expressed their displeasure with loud boos.
Ortiz got a left-right combination in at the start of the 10th, but that was as far as he went as Wilder finally caught him with a concussive right that wobbled and toppled him.
He somehow beat the count, but it proved futile as barrage of heavy artillery left him on the canvas again, forcing the referee to step in and stop the blitz.
Watch the KO below.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 4, 2018
The reactions have been wild…
That man really got bombs in that right hand.
— Terence Crawford (@budcrawford402) March 4, 2018
— Andre Berto (@AndreBerto) March 4, 2018
— Douglass Fischer (@dougiefischer) March 4, 2018
IT’S INEVITABLE!!! pic.twitter.com/fZy4MUQEp5
— Laceupboxing (@Laceupboxing) March 4, 2018
He wild af but he a dog ‼️
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) March 4, 2018