Deontay Wilder defended his WBC Heavyweight title against Johann Duhaupas on Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama. (Getty)
WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder successfully defended his belt and his perfect record by stopping Johann Duhaupas on Saturday in front of a hometown crowd at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
The end came in the 11th round, after an annihilating attack from Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the contest at 55 seconds into the frame (watch the stoppage below).
Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KOs) pursued Wilder throughout the fight and demonstrated incredible resilience, withstanding heavy punishment that would have stopped most heavyweights in their tracks. But Wilder’s thorough control of the distance and his accurate jabs kept off the game Frenchman until the champ could find the openings and opportunity to end the bout with the kayo he had predicted.
The one-sidedness of the match was reflected by punch stats that had Wilder landing 326 punches out of 589 thrown, Duhaupas landed 98 out of 332.
“[Duhaupas] did everything we expected him to do,” Wilder said during his in-ring interview after the fight. “We knew he was tough. We knew he was mentally tough. We knew he was gonna come. That’s why I tell people you can’t criticize nobody you don’t know…He’s got a hell of a chin.”
Check out the ending of the bout:
The fight had something for everyone: boxing, slugging, some in-fighting, and a nice TKO to finish out the drama.
Duhaupas put his game-plan into play right from the opening bell, pursuing Wilder behind a high guard, disrupting the champ’s rhythm, and attempting to close the distance. Wilder took to the perimeter and boxed behind an active jab and slow, lateral movement. Wilder was a tad perturbed by the rushing Frenchman, but kept his cool and easily carried the round.
Wilder was well in control going into the next rounds. His jab established, and his right hand finding its mark, the Bronze Bomber circled the ring and commanded the action.
Duhaupas made some gains in the fourth installment, landing with simple combinations to the body and scoring with Deontay against the ropes. This was the challenger’s best round, yet Wilder likely did enough to win it.
Action moved to the inside during the fifth round and Wilder almost ended the bout in this installment, attacking from close quarters and landing some heavy uppercuts. But Duhaupas withstood the assault and came out refreshed for the next round.
Back to boxing for the sixth round– Duhaupas on the hunt, Wilder jabbing and landing big shots when the openings presented themselves.
A sloppy seventh, with unattractive clinches, missed punches, and Wilder trying too hard to close out the show.
The action settled into the previous pressing forward of Duhaupas answered by the stick, move, and slug of Wilder. A big 10th for Wilder signaled the possible end, and a persistent bludgeoning in the eleventh round delivered it.
“I wasn’t feeling no pressure at all,” said Wilder. “I’m well experienced, I’ve been doing this for a while now, I’ve got a a lot of experience under my belt. It’s tough fighting at home because you want to please, to entertain the crowd. The people came out, they paid their hard-earned money. So they want to see a show. And did I give a show tonight!”
Duhaupas entered Saturday’s melee coming off a decision victory over Manuel Charr in April, after being defeated by Erkan Teper.
On the evening’s co-feature, heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) remains undefeated by outpointing Fred Kassi (18-4-1, KOs) over 10 rounds.
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