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Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Wilder Works Hard For 11th Round Win

pic Lucas Noonan
pic Lucas Noonan

By Marc Livitz: Deontay Wilder dug deep and survived a swollen left eye en route to a 11th round stoppage win over Johann Duhaupas tonight at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The undefeated WBC champion faced his second challenger in three fights who could stand up to his shots. However unlike Bermaine Stiverne, Duhaupas didn’t make it to the finish line.


Duhaupas held his guard high in the opening moments as Wilder extended his left glove to make way for his jab. His French opponent threw a few left hooks up high but saw no results. Johann kept trying to get closer and ended the first with a cut across the bridge of his nose. Deontay (35-0, KO’s) tried to go to the body early on in round two. Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KO’s) fired away with his left jab in an effort to back up the undefeated champion from Alabama. As the round wore on, Wilder appeared to be easing into his comfort zone and began to sit on his punches with more conviction. He had slight swelling under his left eye. Johann continued to press forward and ultimately into Wilder’s one-two combinations up high. As the period ensued, Wilder applied serious pressure in the middle of the ring to his undaunted French foe.


Duhaupas remaining vertical for a full nine minutes was likely a shock to many in attendance in Birmingham. He sustained heavy shots to the head but was able to make it to the fourth, where he kept walking straight into hard punches. Johann did connect with a meaningful right to the head of Wilder with about a minute to spare while Wilder kept on jabbing and power shooting at will. His overhand right was finding a home as his popping left jab was helping Duhaupas’s head admire the overhead lights in the arena in round five. Deontay looked as if he wanted to end the show before the swelling under his eye became a real problem. He threw several single shots before connecting with a sweeping right uppercut in the closing seconds.


Johann was doing less by this point. Much less. The pummeling ensued about a minute into the sixth. Duhaupas was trying to fight back but he did not appear to have the energy to follow his efforts. Deontay’s 83" reach was doing wonders. He narrowly missed wide with a left hook late in the period. Johann was tying up and somehow escaped the bout’s halfway point. Wilder upped the onslaught in the opening seconds of the seventh. He was putting his entire self and will into his shots. Referee Jack Reiss implored Duhaupas to fight back and prove any remaining initiative he may have left in him. The two men fought close in during the dying seconds as the contest trudged on to round eight.


Johann showed flashes in the early frames of the eighth. He jabbed away at the champion and landed a few rights to follow, yet Wilder would answer in droves. Although Duhaupas was visibly being shut out, he made his way into round nine. The pattern was much of the same. Johann wasn’t going away and was making Wilder work this evening, yet somehow the bout was suddenly down to one third of the scheduled twelve rounds. Duhaupas continued to look for that one big shot in the tenth.


Disbelief that the fight had lasted this long had likely set in to those seated at the Legacy. Deontay slowly lulled his stubborn challenger into a corner in the closing minute of round ten. He fired off a left hook to the head and then went to work. Shot after shot landed which left Duhaupas wobbling and uneasy on his feet. Somehow Johann stayed on his feet. Another hard left hook landed just before the bell.


Round 11 would be where Duhaupas finally caved in. Deontay went on the attack right away. Another right uppercut set the stoppage in motion as Johann moved backward and could no longer defend himself. Successive head shots landed just before referee Jack Reiss jumped in to stop the action at the 55 second mark of round ten.


Deontay Wilder remained undefeated yet not unchallenged with the victory. His perfect record boasts all but one stoppage for each win on his boxing resume. All he could do was strut in the ring when the contest was halted and he graciously held Johann’s glove up high in a show of pure sportsmanship.


"The key is to stay patient", said Wilder in regard to a future matchup with universally recognized heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. "As long as I keep winning, which I will, we’ll hopefully see that fight by the end of next year", he added.


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September 26, 2015

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