Wilder wants unification bout after fighting Tyson Fury in February
Sunday 24 November 2019 13:15, UK
Deontay Wilder wiped out Luis Ortiz with a monstrous right hand on Saturday night in Las Vegas, sending a brutal message through the heavyweight division.
Wilder had lost every round but, out of nowhere in the seventh, he hammered Ortiz with one shot that ended their rematch in a flash to retain his WBC belt.
His latest explosive knockout comes two weeks before Anthony Joshua plans to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO titles from Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Wilder, now undefeated in 43 and with 10 title defences, next plans to fight Tyson Fury in February but has kept hopes alive of an undisputed title fight in 2020, as attention turns to Ruiz Jr vs Joshua.
But for half of Wilder's rematch with Ortiz, his unbeaten record and his belt dangled precariously. He was being comprehensively out-boxed until finding a brutal finish.
Ortiz, 40, came close to claiming Wilder's WBC title last year in their first fight when he badly hurt the champion until succumbing in the 10th round but this time he threatened by slowly accumulating the rounds on the judges' scorecards.
Wilder was unable to find any rhythm in the first few rounds. Ortiz's movement was more educated and, wary of the challenger's left hand, Wilder became hesitant to throw his own punches until the fourth round. Even then, he missed and Ortiz did not.
Wilder, by the fifth, had a concerned expression on his face. The round duly ended with Ortiz landing his right hand then his left.
But when Wilder landed his first meaningful punch of the entire fight in the seventh round, Ortiz fell backwards and was unable to beat the referee's count.
Ortiz's only two defeats in 35 fights have come against Wilder.
Earlier this year a vicious first-round knockout by Wilder against Dominic Breazeale was swiftly followed by Joshua losing to Ruiz Jr. Joshua now finds himself again following an impressive Wilder stoppage.
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua is on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office - the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships are on the line.