Deontay Wilder retained his WBC Heavyweight title with a 7th round knockout of Luis Ortiz on Saturday night at the iconic MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Both fighters entered the ring with so much riding on it.
Wilder (41-0-1, 41 KOs) was bidding to become the 6th Heavyweight champion to make 10 successful defenses and keep his rematch clause with Tyson Fury alive, whereas Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) was looking to become the first Cuban Heavyweight boxing champion and the second oldest heavyweight champion after George Foreman.
It was Ortiz who started out strongly landing some clean shots in the early rounds and stalking the champion for the first six rounds.
But as the 7th round neared conclusion with about 10 seconds to go, the Bronze Bomber unleashed a devastating straight right hand that almost blew Ortiz’s head off his neck and sent him to the canvas dazed.
Ortiz floored by Wilder’s fierce right hand
The 40-year old Cuban failed to beat the count as referee Kenny Bayless had no option than to bring the fight to a close, much to the delight of Wilder and his team.
Ortiz down and out
The Alabama native, 34, thus becomes the 6th Heavyweight champion to have recorded at least 10 successful title defenses behind Joe Louis (25), Larry Holmes (20), Wladmir Klitschko (16), Tommy Burns (11), Muhammad Ali (10 during his second reign).
The WBC champion leaves behind in his wake Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Jack Johnson who all had nine.
Wilder is also the division’s longest reigning champion, having first won the WBC strap from Bermane Stiverne via unanimous decision on January 15, 2015 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.