By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – The shaky sequence almost cost Deontay Wilder his unblemished record, the WBC heavyweight title and a shot at an eight-figure payday against Anthony Joshua.
Wilder still is pleased that he went through the most troublesome moments of his nine-year career in the seventh round of his eventual 10th-round knockout of Luis Ortiz on Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The heavily criticized champion thinks the heart and resilience he displayed during the final 40 seconds of that seventh round showed skeptics that he can take punishing punches from hard-hitting heavyweights and knows how to fight through adversity.
“I’m glad I got into that situation, because I showed people a lot,” Wilder said during the post-fight press conference. “That I can take a punch, that, you know, I can overcome adversity. And now, what else can be said? What are they gonna keep saying? That I’m sloppy? That I’m windmilling or whatever? What else you gonna be saying?”
The 32-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) realizes that he won’t win over some detractors due to his unconventional style and technical flaws. Wilder still thinks that after taking so much criticism for his level of opposition, they should recognize that he has knocked out a dangerous opponent in the 38-year-old Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs, 2 NC).
“At the end of the day, styles make fights and my style is what it is,” Wilder said. “I continue to prove to the people that I’m gonna continue to win. I’m gonna continue to knock these guys out with the style that I have. So people are just gonna have to deal with what I got, and just love on me, as I love on you guys and entertain you guys and give you some of the best fights.
“Like I said, I took a stand and took a great risk, with a small reward, just to show you guys that I am the best. Because I consider Luis Ortiz the best. It was an honor to get in the ring with him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.