Deontay Wilder knocked out Luis Ortiz late in the seventh round of their rematch Saturday night, retaining his WBC heavyweight title once again, and setting up, it seems, a February rematch with Tyson Fury.
But it is worth noting that at the time of the stoppage, all three judges did rightly have Ortiz (32-1, 26 KO) leading in the fight.
According to the FOX broadcast, the judges had Ortiz up 58-56, 59-55, and 59-55. Bad Left Hook had it 59-55 for Ortiz, and that and 60-54 for Ortiz were the scores seen across social media from fans and media members scoring the bout. After five rounds, Larry Hazzard on the FOX pay-per-view had Wilder leading 48-47, but that’s literally the only noteworthy card I saw in Wilder’s favor all night. Nobody even had him winning the first round.
In the end, Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KO) made sure the judges didn’t dictate the winner, landing a single right hand that put Ortiz down for the 10 count, despite the Cuban’s best effort to get up.
Simply put, Wilder is not and never has been a fighter who fights to win rounds. He fights to inflict damage and knock opponents out, period, and that’s not just marketing.
Can he make that strategy count if/when he and Tyson Fury do meet again in February? He didn’t quite get there in Dec. 2018, though he did put Fury down twice in the fight that wound up a hugely controversial split draw. We’ll have to see, but it’s clear that if nothing else, Wilder has such an incredible confidence in his power that he’s willing to lose rounds to wait for the time to unleash it.