This past Saturday Deontay Wilder joined an exclusive group when he made the 10th consecutive title defense of his heavyweight championship.
It was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a championship contest that was televised on Fox PPV. Wilder put his WBC heavyweight championship on the line for the tenth time in his rematch against Luis Ortiz. The two first met in March of last year in a hotly contested bout that saw Wilder overcome adversity in what was his toughest bout to date up until that point. Wilder won that fight by a tenth round stoppage. This time around Ortiz once again proved to be a tricky formidable foe. Ortiz appeared to be outboxing Wilder throughout most, if not all, of the first 6 rounds of action. But a perfectly timed menacing right hand in round 7 brought matters to an end when Wilder scored yet another highlight reel knockout.
With this victory Wilder has become just the sixth boxer during the long rich history of heavyweight boxing to make 10 or more consecutive heavyweight title defenses. The others include Muhammad Ali, who had 10 consecutive defenses during his 2nd reign as heavyweight champion; Tommy Burns, who had 11 consecutive title defenses; Wladimir Klitschko, who had 18 consecutive title defenses; Larry Holmes, who had 20 consecutive defenses; and the great Joe Louis who had 25 consecutive defenses. Technically speaking, you can make the case that Holmes had 19 instead of 20, and that Louis had 26 instead of 25 – but 20 for Holmes and 25 for Louis were the generally accepted numbers I remember being most frequently cited. Regardless, Wilder now finds himself in a very exclusive group that carries profound historical significance. Additionally Wilder has also just surpassed a quintet of 9-defense champions, which includes the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, Iron Mike Tyson, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and Muhammad Ali from his first reign.
This edition of Rummy’s Corner attempts to provide some historical perspective on the magnitude of Wilder’s achievement that has landed him in very exclusive company during the long celebrated history of heavyweight boxing champions. For one man’s take on Wilder’s historic milestone please watch and enjoy the video!