WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) rallied from the verge of defeat to batter a determined and savvy Luis Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) Saturday night to retain his title in a drama filled war as seen live on Showtime from Brooklyn, New York. The fight was a nail biter with several momentum twists and easily the best heavyweight scrap since Anthony Joshua lifted his heavyweight crown from Wladimir Klitschko last April to reignite the division.
Ortiz looked as serious as a heart attack to begin the fight and controlled things early fighting from his cagey and stoic southpaw stance. Wilder looked to flick his jab to keep distance but anytime the ‘Bronze Bomber’ looked to throw his right hand Ortiz was quick to counter giving him an early edge.
In Round 5 Wilder opened up a bit more and dropped Ortiz at the end of the round with a big shot to the forehead but it came in the final ten seconds and the break between rounds gave Ortiz time to recover.
In the middle rounds the crafty Cuban sized the momentum and started to walk Wilder back with some big left hands. Wilder looked unsure of himself and had trouble opening up. In Round 7 the man they call ‘King Kong’ cracked a shaky looking Wilder with a big right hook and left hand and Wilder was battered to the edge of near-defeat but managed to hang on. He was in dire straights.
Both men looked tired in the ensuing rounds but Ortiz still looked to be the stronger of the two while Wilder looked pressed to find an answer.
However in Round 10 the defending champion dug deep and landed a bomb to stun Ortiz. It was high drama in Brooklyn.
As Wilder looked to go for broke, a stunned Ortiz threw caution to the wind and started winging some huge counter shots in a desperate attempt to keep Wilder off of him. A big right from Wilder dropped Ortiz hard. He got up and looked shaky at the count of nine and Wilder continued his wild onslaught bludgeoning Ortiz with an uppercut that sent him down a second time where the bout was immediately waived off at the 2:05 mark.
Yup, that’s a dead guy pic.twitter.com/oWX7olbcJV
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) March 4, 2018
It was a thrilling end to a compelling heavyweight encounter.
The heavily favoured Wilder looked very vulnerable in the middle rounds, much like fellow-heavyweight champion/rival Anthony Joshua did against Wladimir Klitschko in his big win last April… but like his counterpart he walked through the fire, dug deep and came out on top in spades at the end to defend his title.
The dramatic win over Ortiz now makes a potential Wilder – Joshua unification fight the biggest heavyweight bout in over a decade. Joshua has to get through Joseph Parker on March 31… and as long as he does, the pressure will be on to set up one of the most historic heavyweight encounters of this new generation.
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