Wilder KOs Ortiz to retain title in rematch

Luis Ortiz wanted to do better than what he did in March 2018 where he was stopped in the 10th round. It seemed like he was on his way there until a right hand ended the night.

Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) landed flush with his right hand near the end of the 7th round and Ortiz could not beat the ten count administered by referee Kenny Bayless for Wilder to retain the WBC heavyweight title that he has held since January of 2015. This clears the path for him to face Tyson Fury in 2020 as they look to have closure to the draw in their first bout last December.

Wilder waited for that punch that knocked down Ortiz as his opponent kept coming at him for the majority of the fight. Ortiz had a plan to get to Wilder with a double right jab then a left hand, but in many instances he was not in range to catch Wilder as much as he wanted to. It was enough for Ortiz to win rounds, but not enough to have Wilder in serious trouble. Early in the fight, there was a cut by Ortiz’s eye, but Wilder did not use that to his advantage. Instead, he kept his distance from his opponent until it was time to see his opening.

Wilder throws the left hand to try to land on Ortiz. Photo by Associated Press

“(Ortiz is) very crafty in the ring and he moves strategically,” Wilder said after the fight. “I had to play around with him and measure him in certain places. I had to go back and go forward. My intellect is very high although I don’t get credit for it. I finally found my measurement and I took the shot and I hurt him.”

Ortiz wanted to box in the rematch and use his skill, but it still didn’t prevent him from getting caught in the seventh round. After not beating the count and knowing that he lost, he showed his frustrations after the fight.

“I told everybody that it would either be him or me and it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds,” Ortiz said. “I was trying to get up by the count of seven, but it was a little quicker than I thought.”

Wilder and Ortiz trade punches in the middle of the ring. Photo by Associated Press

With that being only the second loss of his career, there still may be opportunities for Ortiz to get back in the thick of the heavyweight race. In the meantime, Wilder is looking ahead to his rematch with Tyson Fury that is scheduled for February. After that, he hopes to unify.

“Next, of course, we have the rematch with Tyson Fury. The schedule is set to be done in February so we will see how that goes. After that, I’m looking for a unification bout.”

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