Deontay Wilder promised that his initial knockout of Luis Ortiz a few years back was no fluke and he proved just that on Saturday night.
Wilder (42-0-1) scooped up his 41st career knockout when he flattened rival Ortiz with one punch. It took “Bronze Bomber” several rounds to get going but once he did, he ended things in spectacular fashion. Wilder blinded the Cuban with a series of left jabs and when he picked his shot, the Alabama native uncorked that devastating right hand of his and crushed Ortiz’s face.
Wilder’s punch detonated on Ortiz’s forehead, but there was so much force from the perfect leverage that “King Kong” was doomed once it landed. Ortiz crumbled onto the seat of his trunks and was somewhat tangled in the ropes. The Cuban tried his best to somehow climb back to his feet, but his equilibrium was in tatters. Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) was able to struggle to his gloves but couldn’t fully erect himself by the time veteran referee Kenny Bayless counted him out.
The knockout came at 2:51 of the seventh after a largely uneventful fight, though it ignited the near-capacity crowd inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder said afterward that he was simply taking his time and figuring out when to attack, thus the reason for the lack of sheer action. The triumphant Wilder was successful in the 10th defense of his World Boxing Council heavyweight title. Immediately following his emphatic knockout win, Wilder said that he is targeting sometime in February for when he will rematch Tyson Fury.
In the co-main event, Leo Santa Cruz become a world champion in a fourth different weight class as he out-pointed Miguel Flores in a heated 12-round battle. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) wasn’t quite as busy as Flores was with his punch output, but “El Terremoto” landed the cleaner, more telling blows over the course of their super featherweight encounter. Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) had a point deducted in the eighth for excessive holding and in the eighth and was never able to turn the tables on his foe. Santa Cruz won a unanimous decision via tallies of 117-110 (twice) and 115-112. The win allowed Santa Cruz to nab the vacant World Boxing Association super featherweight belt.
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