LAS VEGAS — Deontay Wilder stated time and again that his rematch with Luis “King Kong” Ortiz would finish in a knockout and he suggested all who could be watching to not go to the lavatory or to get a snack or to examine their cellphone as a result of it might come at any second.

And it positive did.

Ortiz gave the impression to be soundly outboxing Wilder till he crushed him with one devastating proper hand to the brow within the seventh spherical to retain his heavyweight world title for the 10th time on Saturday night time on the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment.

The smashing victory was the ultimate hurdle to a rematch between Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury, who’re penciled in for the primary occasion of a joint pay-per-view between ESPN and Fox on Feb. 22 on the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment.

Wilder, who was boxing on the MGM Grand for the primary time since he gained his world title by one-sided resolution towards Bermane Stiverne in January 2015, took the combat with Ortiz despite the fact that he already had the rematch with Fury signed.

Given their great energy, Wilder and Ortiz started at a really cautious tempo paying homage to their first combat, however Ortiz did land a strong straight left hand. He additionally suffered a small reduce within the nook of his proper eye from what gave the impression to be an unintentional head-butt.

Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), 34, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, barely threw or landed something within the early going as he seemed for a spot to launch his highly effective proper hand.

The slower tempo favored the older Ortiz, however Wilder landed a strong proper hand within the third spherical that knocked Ortiz briefly off steadiness in a spherical he in any other case obtained the higher of.

Ortiz launched two exhausting left arms early within the fourth spherical that backed Wilder up and when he landed one other shot, Wilder responded by beating his chest.

Wilder appeared reluctant to throw his proper hand a lot and took a number of 1-2 combos from Ortiz through the center rounds. However within the seventh spherical, he flicked out a jab and got here behind with the clear proper hand that hammered Ortiz and dropped him exhausting. He struggled to collect himself and couldn’t as referee Kenny Bayless counted him out at 2 minutes, 51 seconds.

The combat was a rematch of their memorable see-saw battle on March 3, 2018, in Brooklyn, New York, the place they fought a contender for combat of the yr during which Wilder dropped Ortiz within the fifth spherical, barely survived an enormous onslaught of blows over the ultimate 45 seconds of the seventh spherical and rallied to attain a highlight-reel knockout within the 10th spherical of a combat Wilder led 85-84 on all three scorecards on the time of the knockout.

Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs), a 40-year-old southpaw, a Cuban defector preventing out of Miami, was bidding to turn into the primary Cuban to win a heavyweight title.