Time To Stop Hating On Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder is America’s heavyweight champion. After a definitive victory over Luis Ortiz this weekend at the Barclays Center, Wilder proved to all his doubters that he can truly bang with the best of them and lay them out Bomb Squad style.

With Denzel Washington in the audience, Wilder rejoiced during the post-fight interview with the classic line from the Oscar-winning film Training Day, “King Kong’ aint got nothing on me!”  

As one of the most underrated boxers currently fighting with a major hype push behind him, it was easy to hate on Wilder from the outset. Although an Olympic bronze medalist, Wilder was met with a mixed, lukewarm reception by the boxing public at large. 

The main criticism: who had he fought to be labeled the future of the heavyweight division?

Deontay Wilder Takes Down Luis Ortiz in the 10th | SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Deontay Wilder defeats Luis Ortiz via technical knockout in round 10 of their WBC Heavyweight World Championship. Follow SHOWTIME Sports Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShoSports/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SHOsports Instagram: https://instagram.com/shosports Official Site: http://www.sho.com/sports Follow SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShoBoxing Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShowtimeBoxing Instagram: https://instagram.com/showtimeboxing Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/showtime…

With no marquee names under his belt to swoon the casual observer, or opponents that the diehard fans really respect, Wilder was beginning to get handed the death sentence label for any serious boxer – a cherry picker. 

But this is the same guy that KO’d former champion Chris Arreola with two broken hands. The same guy that “avenged” a unanimous decision win that put a blemish on his perfect KO record with a vicious first-round KO of former champion Bermane Stiverne. 

Wilder was willing to go to Russia to fight Alexander Povetkin before the bout was scratched due to his opponent’s PED revelation and re-booked the fight with Ortiz after he was also popped for a second time with PED’s in his system.

During this weekend’s fight, fans saw Wilder go into the deep water with Ortiz after starting slow and watching Ortiz turn it up during the first six rounds of the fight. Ortiz kept him off balance and landed hard shots that visibly hurt the champion. 

He had Wilder searching for an out in the initial throws of the battle. However, after the fight careened past the halfway point, Wilder displayed a resurgence that showed his greatness. 

A true champion always finds a way to come back and thats what I did tonight,” said Wilder after the fight. “Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy.  He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down. I showed everyone I can take a punch. When he leaves tonight, Ortiz can hold his head high. He gave the fans a hell of a fight.”

Ortiz led the fight in power punches with 43% to Wilder’s 39%, however, Wilder’s steady jab kept him consistent at 20% versus 11% for Ortiz. Wilder has always stated that he is ready for Anthony Joshua, the only man that the fans want to see him fight now, but he is proven as a champion. 

Wilder doesn’t run for training camp, he fights unconventionally lacking many of the fundamentals that boxing diehards love to break apart, and he foolheartedly has stated he would have beaten Mike Tyson in his prime.

Wilder vs. Ortiz: Post-Fight Press Conference | SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder defends his WBC title against unbeaten contender Luis Ortiz – live Saturday, March 3 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center.

Wearing a “Welcome To Wakanda” t-shirt and making the seventh defense of his WBC title, Wilder literally walked through hell to get the ‘W’ as Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) outboxed him early before battering Wilder in a wild Round 7 that saw the champion lucky to make the final bell.

Three rounds later, Wilder hurt Ortiz with right hands and floored him twice before referee David Fields waved off the fight at 2:05 in Round 10, setting off a standing ovation on a night where the champion was further regaled inside Barclays Center. The crowd of 14,069 was the second largest for boxing since the arena opened in 2012 behind only Keith Thurman vs Danny Garcia last March.

I just showed that I can punch on the inside as well, too,” said Wilder. “A lot of people dont think I can punch on the inside, but I showed them.  Now I can say theres no man that stepped in the ring that I havent put on their ass. Luis Ortiz was one of those fighters that everyone ducked, even champions ducked him. I wondered why it took so long for him to get a title shot and now we know.”

With Anthony Joshua scheduled to fight Joseph Parker on March 31st in the U.K., and with Tyson Fury waiting in the wings to face the winner, it may take until 2019 for Joshua and Wilder to finally meet in the ring. 

Regardless, the notion that the champ isn’t ready, capable, or able should finally be disregarded as Wilder has proven yet again that he truly is America’s champion.   

Im ready right now,” he said. “I always said that I want to unify. Im 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.

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