2:19 AM ET

Dan Rafael

ShutESPN Senior Author2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism
ESPN.com boxing author since 2005
5 years at USA Right this moment

Steve Kim

Deontay Wilder spent the higher a part of seven rounds looking for a gap, giving Luis Ortiz an enormous head begin on the scorecards. That finally did not matter when Wilder unleashed a strong proper hand within the closing moments of the seventh spherical, knocking out Ortiz to protect his undefeated document and world title, in addition to a profitable upcoming rematch in opposition to Tyson Fury deliberate for February.

Dan Rafael and Steve Kim dig deeper into what comes subsequent.

Was Wilder’s method to this combat too dangerous? Or can he all the time discover that punch?

Kim: For a combat with out a lot motion, there was truly a fair proportion of stress and drama.

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This is the truth with Wilder, at age 34 with 43 skilled fights and 42 KO’s: he’s what he’s. And it isn’t going to alter, nor ought to anybody actually attempt to change it. He has pure God-given capability and his id is that of a puncher. There’s a technique to his insanity. He is not making an attempt to outpoint you in there — he seems to be for that opening, that small sliver after which capitalizes on it. His mantra is: see goal, hit goal.

The very last thing he ought to do is complicate the method and turn into a extra essentially adept boxer. Who can argue with the outcomes? Whereas Wilder was struggling early, and the combat was being managed tactically by Ortiz, none of it mattered. Wilder confirmed as soon as once more that the correct hand that he detonated on Ortiz close to the tip of the seventh spherical erased the deficit on the scorecards, which had the Cuban southpaw main 58-56, 59-55 and 59-55 on the time of the stoppage. He erased the entire good work that Ortiz had accomplished in a break up second.

Punch stats

PunchesWilderOrtizTotal landed3435Complete thrown184179%19%20%Jabs landed177Jabs thrown13077%13%9percentPower landed1728Energy thrown54102%32%28%– Courtesy of CompuBox

Wilder gained this combat by being who he’s, which is completely flawed. Sure, he makes a whole lot of errors essentially contained in the ring, and for lengthy stretches he seems to be so susceptible. However on the identical time he has an unwavering self-belief that so long as he has that proper hand of his, he’s by no means out of any combat, regardless of how dire the scenario. Many punchers are nice when issues are going their manner, however others shrivel up as issues get powerful they usually do not carry that very same energy late in fights.

Wilder has confirmed again and again that he’s by no means actually out of a combat. As a result of not solely does he have a strong proper hand, he has the ability of self-belief.

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Although Ortiz and his camp would possibly argue that their man had gotten up in time, the reality is that referee Kenny Bayless gave him a good rely. Ortiz will relive the break up second the place he stood instantly according to Wilder’s most well-liked weapon for the remainder of his life. That break up second is all Wilder wanted to get the job accomplished.

Deontay Wilder celebrates his victory Saturday night time in Las Vegas. AP Photograph/John Locher

Rafael: Any time you must depend on one weapon it is a threat. Ortiz was profitable simply by way of the primary six rounds and Wilder was ineffective with any technique aside from to search for a gap for his proper hand. Nevertheless — and it is a massive nevertheless — his proper hand is so super and does a lot harm that even when he would not land it flush, he can afford to depend on it.

To date, he has knocked out all people he has confronted — he went 12 with Bermane Stiverne the primary time round, however smoked him in a single spherical in a rematch — aside from Fury of their draw. He nonetheless dropped Fury twice, laborious.

Ultimately, Wilder beat Ortiz the way in which he beats everybody, with a one-punch knockout along with his proper hand. It’s the most devastating weapon in all of boxing in any weight class, and it may be the very best punch in boxing historical past. His energy is totally freakish.

Will Wilder be prepared for a scheduled February rematch in opposition to Tyson Fury?

Luis Ortiz throws a punch at Deontay Wilder throughout their heavyweight bout. John Locher/AP

Rafael: There doesn’t appear to be any motive why Wilder wouldn’t be prepared. He appeared to come back out of the combat with Ortiz with no accidents and he suffered no cuts.

Kim: The reported date for this rematch is Feb. 22, which might give Wilder three months to get again into the ring. Now, by at this time’s requirements — and particularly for giant fights — that is a fast turnaround.

Wilder got here out of the rematch with Ortiz in good condition, wasn’t damage and mentioned he was able to combat Fury subsequent.

“I do not assume it is too quickly,” Ray Mancini, former light-weight champion, mentioned earlier than the combat. “However that is three months away. You in all probability want a very good month to heal, a pair months to coach. Yeah, you would in all probability do it.”

Earlier than this weekend, Wilder confronted Dominic Breazeale on Could 18, the place he went all of 1 spherical as he blew out Breazeale at Barclays Middle in Brooklyn, New York.

If the Fury combat is not subsequent, who ought to Wilder combat?

Rafael: Fury is subsequent. The contracts are signed, not just for a rematch but in addition for a 3rd combat down the highway.

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Kim: No person else. They’ve already delayed this rematch sufficient, largely due to Fury’s choice to enter into an settlement with Prime Rank. The second go-around between these two heavyweights has marinated lengthy sufficient.

Primarily based on what Wilder confirmed Saturday night time, can he beat the opposite prime heavyweights exterior of Fury, like Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.?

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Rafael: Wilder can beat any heavyweight at this time, and fairly probably any heavyweight ever, if he can land the correct hand. It’s a punch of historic proportions. However he has to land it, and as Ortiz confirmed, as did Fury of their first combat, Wilder may be outboxed by slicker opponents. Anybody who fights him must be good for each second of the combat, and that’s very tough.

Kim: Wilder’s proper hand is essentially the most devastating weapon in boxing, and when you’ve got that at your disposal, you’re by no means out of a combat. Sure, Wilder has some technical flaws, however he has the eraser that may make up for all these deficiencies. Fury, of their preliminary matchup, riddled Wilder for lengthy stretches, however Wilder acquired again into the combat and salvaged his WBC belt on the power of two knockdowns.

If you happen to have a look at the opposite heavyweights, they’ve some technical and elementary benefits over Wilder, however no person has Wilder’s game-changing energy.

What’s subsequent for Ortiz? What are his choices shifting ahead?

All it took was one Deontay Wilder proper hand to ground Luis Ortiz. John Locher/AP

Rafael: Ortiz is a reputable prime heavyweight contender, and regardless of two knockout losses to Wilder, he can nonetheless compete and really properly beat any heavyweight on this planet. He fights below the Premier Boxing Champions umbrella, and I’d suspect he would come again with a tune-up caliber opponent after which transfer on to one thing larger, maybe some kind of eliminator. PBC has, inside its steady, massive males similar to Adam Kownacki and Dominic Breazeale. PBC additionally has unified titleholder Andy Ruiz Jr.

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All of these may be doable fights, ultimately.

Kim: If you happen to have a look at his document, his solely two blemishes have come in opposition to Wilder. And reality be instructed, he in all probability gained the massive majority of the rounds in opposition to Wilder of their two fights. Ortiz is a bonafide top-10 heavyweight, in all probability nonetheless within the prime 5 or 6 after the loss. However like everybody else, he succumbed to the correct hand of Wilder. The query is, at age 40, how far more does he have left within the tank?

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Regardless, Ortiz remains to be a really harmful opponent for every other heavyweight on this planet. He has a excessive boxing IQ, heavy fingers, and he is a southpaw. These are three issues that rival managers and trainers will nonetheless be very cautious of, when it comes to risking their heavyweights in opposition to this well-schooled Cuban.

With that mentioned, trying on the heavyweight panorama and being life like with the politics of the game, Adam Kownacki could be a combat that, in concept, might be made fairly simply as each are aligned with the PBC. Given their respective kinds, this combat could be a really strong heavyweight matchup, which might present how a lot Ortiz has left within the tank, in addition to how reputable Kownacki is.

We all know Ortiz has by no means turned down a combat and could be sport. However it takes two to tango.

Who else impressed you from the undercard?

Leduan Barthelemy takes a punch from Eduardo Ramirez throughout an undercard bout Saturday in Las Vegas. Frank Micelotta/Fox Sports activities

Kim: Again in September 2017, Eduardo Ramirez and Leduan Barthelemy fought to a 10-round draw. It was a choice that was bitterly contested by Ramirez. Of their rematch on this undercard, Ramirez left little doubt as he scored a fourth-round stoppage of Barthelemy. The primary two rounds had been tactical, simply the way in which Barthelemy prefers it, however beginning within the third spherical, Ramirez closed the hole and began strafing his taller foe with each fingers.

Within the fourth, it was extra of the identical with Ramirez steadily coming ahead and letting his fingers go, as soon as once more placing Barthelemy (15-1-1, 7 KOs) cleanly. Then there was a left hand, which was arrange by a throwaway proper hook that despatched Barthelemy to the canvas.

The combat was ultimately waved off by referee Russell Mora, which might be debated, however what is not debatable is that Ramirez had clearly gained management of this combat within the early rounds and had made this into his sort of combat.

Ramirez (23-2-Three, 9 KOs) is not a world-beater at featherweight, however he is a hard-nosed fighter who usually makes for fairly good fights. This was an enormous win for his profession, as he took benefit of the stage he was given after the Luis Nery-Emanuel Rodriguez combat was scrapped after Nery didn’t make weight.

Rafael: No person, actually. There have been a whole lot of lackluster efficiency or utter mismatches. But when I’ve to select someone, I’d go together with former featherweight world title challenger Eduardo Ramirez, who scored a pleasant knockout of fellow southpaw Leduan Barthelemy within the fourth spherical of a rematch of their 2017 draw.