Deontay Wilder has made a 10th successful defence of his WBC heavyweight title after a fearsome knockout win over Luis Ortiz in Las Vegas.
Ortiz won the first six rounds of the bout with Wilder looking tentative and uncomfortable before the champion produced a ferocious right out of nowhere to drop the Cuban in the seventh.
Up until that point, Wilder looked to be heading for the first defeat of his professional career having been comfortably outboxed by his 40-year-old opponent.
But another devastating finish from ‘The Bronze Bomber’ continues his reign of dominance and further enhances his reputation as one of the most destructive punchers in boxing history.
Wilder was rocked for the first time in his professional career when these two met in their first bout in New York in March 2018, with a devastating onslaught from Ortiz in the seventh round leaving Wilder on the brink of a first defeat.
Ortiz asserted his dominance earlier on this time around. His superior footwork troubled the champion throughout the opening two rounds, finding his range with his sharp left as Wilder struggled to land anything of note.
Wilder did connect with a solid right in the third but two stiff lefts from Ortiz early in the fourth backed the champion up. Another neat combo from the challenger saw Wilder beat his chest in response.
Ortiz took the middle rounds before that stunning finish in the seventh – a short-range right that came crashing down on the Cuban and sent him crumbling to the mat.
Ortiz struggled to his feet but was counted out by referee Kenny Bayless.
Wilder can now switch focus to Tyson Fury, with who he shared a split decision draw with in December last year.
Fury, who has wins over Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin and an appearance in WWE under his belt since then, was widely considered to have got the better of Wilder that night, rising from the mat in the 12th having won plenty of rounds prior.
They are set to go to war again on February 22.