Deontay Wilder defended his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz to continue his reign as world champion and keep alive a clash with Tyson Fury which will be a rematch from their draw in December 2018.
The success against the Cuban, the second of his career, brings Wilder’s professional record up to 42-0-1, 41 of those victories have come by stoppages. His reputation as one of the biggest hitters in the history of the heavyweight division was enhanced even further. Ortiz had a lot of success in the opening six rounds against the Bronze Bomber, however, once the champion landed a flush right hand in the seventh round, he was unable to get to his feet after the referee’s 10 count.
Wilder has now defended his WBC title on 10 occasions since winning the belt against Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. The 34-year-old is level with Muhammad Ali on successful consecutive title defences but still remains a long way short of the record held by Joe Louis (25).
The focus for Wilder now will be on Fury, the only man he has yet to defeat in a professional boxing ring. The American floored the former lineal champion twice, including in the 12th round of their contest, however, the Gypsy King was able to get to his feet to see out the bell before the judges scored the fight as a draw.
February 22 is the provisional date which has been set for the two men to meet again in Las Vegas at the Staples Centre. The winner of that bout will put themselves in a perfect position to fight for a unification contest later in 2020.
The WBC recently announced a date for the rematch between light-middleweight champion Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo with the fighters set to face each other on the 21st December. Charlo is the clear favourite at 2/5 in the latest boxing odds to win that contest. The boxing organisation will be hoping that they will also be able to cement the Wilder-Fury bill for just a couple of months later which will put them at the centre stage again.
Fury Fresh From Stint In WWE
Fury has not been in a boxing ring since he defeated Otto Wallin back in September where he beat the Swedish boxer on points. The current WBO inter-continental champion suffered a nasty cut above his right eye in that fight. Following that victory, Fury has been busy outside of boxing. He appeared at WWE’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view where he faced off against Braun Strowman, beating the wrestler at the entertainment event.
Even though he has been splitting his focus across various areas, the bookmakers make Fury the favourite to win the rematch against Wilder where the British boxer is also putting his unbeaten record on the line. Success for Fury over the Bronze Bomber would be his biggest win since he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to claim the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles in Germany in November 2015.
Fury has already entered his training camp in Birmingham in the UK for the fight early next year. He weighed in at his lowest weight he has been for a professional bout against Wallin and that could prove to be the case again for his second shot at WBC champion Wilder.