Deontay Wilder had a lot to prove tonight against Luis Ortiz of Cuba and he delivered in spadefuls tonight in Brooklyn, New York.
The WBC heavyweight champion faced his toughest foe on paper at least to date tonight. It had been a long time coming as a bout after it was cancelled last year due to a failed doping test from Ortiz.
With that out-of-the-way and Ortiz’ suspension lifted, Ortiz, six years older than the champion, got off to a solid start in round one.
On the front foot, sensibly picking his shots, he caught Wilder off-balance at times. Ortiz despite being the older fighter looked to have quick hands in round one.
Ortiz stumbled in round 2 and then Wilder opened up on him, seemingly encouraged by what happened.
The crowd began to boo in round 3 as neither man landed anything of note. If anything it was Ortiz pressing the action at this point.
A very cagey fight continued into round 4, Ortiz landing the shots of note with Wilder not willing to throw hardly any punches it seemed.
Everything changed at the end of round 5 however, Wilder put Ortiz down with the first big punch of the fight he threw. Dramatic stuff.
The big right hand proved to be a massive bomb. Ortiz survived the end of the round.
Wilder had some success again in round six, Ortiz now very weary of the champion’s power.
Then in round 8 Luis Ortiz had huge success and gave Wilder the toughest moment of his career. Wilder’s legs were all over the place.
Wilder survived the round but Ortiz’ pace slowed towards the end of the round. It looked like he might have emptied the gas tank.
The two went at it at the end of round 9, trading shots in the centre of the ring in some superb action.
Wilder landed a big bomb in round 10 but did not score the knockdown as he pushed Ortiz down after. He put that right however by dropping him hard with a flurry soon after.
How Ortiz got up was beyond belief.
Wilder then moved in for the kill and stopped Ortiz in epic fashion! What an incredible fight.
What a champion’s heart Wilder showed.