By Mark Elezaj
LAS VEGAS – Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) silenced his critics last night when he ended a one-sided fight with a straight right hand that knocked out Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) in the seventh round of their highly anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
For six rounds, Ortiz was dictating the action as the aggressor. He pushed the fight and landed some clean shots on Wilder.
Wilder barely threw anything back in the early rounds, while looking to land his powerful right hand.
For the first three rounds, Wilder was being countered by Ortiz every time he tried to throw his right. The slow pace of the fight seemed to favor Ortiz who continued to land counters while making Wilder miss.
In round three, Wilder landed his first big right hand, but Ortiz took it well. Ortiz continued to push the action, landing several straight lefts as the round ended.
Ortiz began to step up the pace in the fifth, becoming more confident due Wilder’s lack of offense.
In the sixth, Ortiz continued to land his left on Wilders head, but Wilder was responding with jabs and hooks to the body.
The action picked up again in the seventh, picking up where the previous round left off. Ortiz continued to stalk Wilder, making the champion miss while landing his overhand left.
Wilder began to let his hands go, working off of his jab as he set up the right hand that dropped Ortiz.
Wilder’s right hand dropped a stunned Ortiz on his back, underneath the bottom rope.
Ortiz struggled to get up as referee Kenny Bayless counted him out at 2 minutes, 51 seconds in the round.
At the time of the knockout, Ortiz was ahead on all three scorecards 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56.
“With Ortiz, we can see why no other heavyweight wants to fight him,” Wilder told FOX Sports’ Heidi Androl during his post-fight interview.
“He’s very crafty in the ring and his ring intellect is very high up in the ring. So, I had to play around with him. I had to calculate certain moves. You know, I was in and out. Sometimes, I was backing up on my back feet. Some say I can’t fight on my back feet, but that’s my specialty. I had to go back and I had to go forward. I had to go back and go forward, different tactics.
“You know, my intellect is very high in the ring, even though I don’t get no credit for it. But, you know, I had to go in and I had to go out. I had to throw the right hand a few times and I finally got my measurement, and I took the shot. I seen the shot and I took it. I think I hurt him one time, buzzed him a little bit with the left hook. That was the start of it, and then I took my [cue] from there. But Ortiz is one of the best in the world.”
When asked what he wants next, Wilder said, “Next, of course we have Tyson Fury next. It’s set to be done in February, so we’ll see how that goes. Then after that, I’m looking for a unification. I want one champion, one face, one name, and he goes by the name of Deontay Wilder. The heavyweight division is too small to have all these titles floating around. It’s too confusing for the fans. I think I’m the perfect man for the job.”
After the fight, Ortiz admitted he was frustrated because he boxed so well.
“This is boxing,” Ortiz said. “I said that one of us was gonna get knocked out and it wasn’t gonna go 12 rounds.”
“I was clear-headed when I hit the canvas,” Ortiz said. “When I heard the referee say, ‘Seven,’ I was trying to get up. But I guess the count went a little quicker than I thought.”
According to CompuBox numbers, Wilder landed 34 of 184 punches (19%), while Ortiz landed 35 of 179 (20%).
~ The Fighting Voice ~