LOS ANGELES (AFP) – American Deontay Wilder floored Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in the 10th round on Saturday to retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight title and keep his record intact of knocking out every opponent he has faced.
Wilder knocked down Ortiz three times in the fight, finishing off the previously unbeaten challenger with a right uppercut as the referee stopped the fight with 55 seconds left in the 10th round.
The 32-year-old Wilder improved to 40-0 with 39 knockouts as he made the seventh defence of his heavyweight title.
Wilder knocked Ortiz down in the fifth and twice in the final round but Ortiz made him work for the victory. Wilder barely survived the seventh round after Ortiz surprised him with a right hook and left hand combination and followed it up with a barrage of his own.
This was the first career title fight for the stout Ortiz who weighed in at 241 pounds, almost 30 pounds heavier than the taller and leaner 6-foot-7 Wilder.
Wilder has been trying unsuccessfully to get a unification fight with two-belt titleholder Anthony Joshua.
Meantime, Sergey Kovalev retained his World Boxing Organization title by beating fellow Russian and heavy underdog Igor Mikhalkin when the light heavyweight fight was stopped by the ring doctor in the seventh round.