Deontay Wilder retains WBC title and shows he can take a punch

Deontay Wilder wanted to prove he’s the best heavyweight on the planet. After his performance against Luis “King Kong” Ortiz on Saturday night at Barclays Center, it would be hard to argue with him.

Wilder took some of the hardest punches the heavy-fisted Ortiz could deliver. But the native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., ultimately showed a determined heart and strong chin in scoring a 10th-round technical knockout over the Cuban challenger to retain his WBC heavyweight championship as a crowd of 14,069 roared its approval.

It was a fight that started slow but heated up in the middle rounds and was furious at the finish. Wilder, 40-0 with 39 knockouts, looked in serious trouble when he was battered and staggered by Ortiz in the seventh round. But the champion survived and thrived, turning the fight his way in the ninth and finishing it in the 10th with a barrage of punches a wilting Ortiz couldn’t withstand. Wilder now can further his campaign for a potential unification bout with Anthony Joshua, who fights Joseph Parker later this month.

“A true champion always finds a way to come back, and that’s what I did tonight,” Wilder said. “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

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