One of the main criticisms of Deontay Wilder is his rather lack of quality opposition he's faced over the years. The reigning WBC heavyweight champion has largely avoided facing the top ranked heavyweights, aside from when he took the WBC belt away from Bermane Stiverne earlier this year. When it was revealed that he'd be facing the unheralded and largely unknown Johann Duhaupas on NBC primetime on Saturday night, the bout was predictably panned by boxing fans. Duhaupas had only one notable win (against Manuel Charr) and had a thoroughly underwhelming list of opponents. This was more or less billed as a showcase fight for Wilder, and in some ways it was, in other ways it wasn't.
Wilder largely dominated Duhaupas and had won virtually all of the rounds leading up to the 11th round TKO win, but Duhaupas was able to find success landing his jab and some power shots that led to swelling under Deontay's left eye. Duhaupas, who had never been knocked down or knocked out prior to Saturday, withstood Wilder's heaviest punches and demonstrated an iron chin all the way. All of that said, Duhaupas was slowly getting broken down by the body shots and roundhouse right hands, and from about round 6 onward the corner and referee both were keeping a close eye on Johann with the expectation that he was close to being stopped.
In the 11th, Wilder battered an already bloodied Duhaupas with vicious uppercuts and literally left his feet to throw the last blow just as the referee moved in for the TKO stoppage. Duhaupas bravely didn't go down, but if not for referee intervention, he absolutely would've gone down and surely not gotten up. Wilder defends his WBC title and improves to 35-0, 34 KOs while Duhaupas drops to 32-3, 20 KOs.
Offensively, Wilder showed a good gas tank given how seldom he's gone past round 4, and his punches were a tad wild (and his technique has never been his strong suit), but he landed 56% of his total punches and his combinations were impressive. Defensively, he proved to be quite hittable and prone to counter-shots, and a heavier punching, more talented fighter probably punishes Wilder for his mistakes. Duhaupas put up a good show in his US debut in front of Wilder's home fans in Alabama, but he was going to lose a wide decision if he'd survived the full 12 rounds.
Up next for Wilder is likely a showdown with Alexander Povetkin (29-1), who fights Mariusz Wach on November 4th. Povetkin's only loss is to Wladimir Klitschko, and he would be by far the best opponent Wilder has faced to date. But this is boxing, so don't be surprised if Al Haymon makes sure this doesn't happen and instead Wilder fights another overmatched opponent.
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