Sports Xtra

Wilder knocks out Ortiz to retain WBC heavyweight title

Written by Isaac Darko

Deontay Wilder kept up his side of the bargain in the Anthony Joshua stakes by dispatching Luis Ortiz with a brutal 10th round knockout in New York.
But the WBC champion was forced to dig deep and answer questions he has never been asked before as a professional during a punishing seventh round barrage from the previously undefeated Cuban.
Then, having stayed on his feet, he regrouped in the eighth and the ninth before doing what he does best in the 10th – serving up another chilling knockout.
He has stopped every man he has ever faced as a professional and, although it looked like he might not continue that streak against Ortiz, he changed the course of the fight in stunning fashion in the 10th.
Ortiz did well to somehow beat the count but he did so on unsteady legs and he was in no position to defend himself as Wilder went for the kill.
And, when a vicious uppercut sent him to the canvas again, referee David Fields waved it off before he had even hit the floor with 2:05 on the clock.
Now Wilder can allow himself to dream of the riches he will glean from a transatlantic epic with Joshua.
The Londoner, of course, still needs to do the business against Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31st, when he will attempt to add the WBO belt to his WBA and IBF titles.
Whoever comes out on top in Cardiff will then surely face WBC champion Wilder in a unification fight for the ages which will render the first ever heavyweight champion to hold all four major belts at once.

'I'm ready right now,' Wilder said. 'I always said that I want to unify. I'm ready whenever those guys are. I am the baddest man on the planet and I proved that tonight. This solidified my position at the top of the food chain tonight.

'Soon there will be one champion, one face, one name – that will be Deontay Wilder. It's not about how big your muscles are – it's about the heart.'