By Rob Smith: Heavyweight Deontay Wilder (24-0, 24 KO’s) stayed unbeaten tonight with a 1st round knockout win over a badly overmatched Kertson Manswell (22-6, 17 KO’s) at the Exposition Hall in Mobile, Alabama. The 26-year-old Wilder had Manswell on the canvas exactly three separate times before the bout was finally halted at 2:10 of the 1st round.
The 6’7″ Wilder caught Manswell with a long chopping right hand followed by a left hook to score the 1st knockdown. The 35-year-old Manswell got back to his feet groggily, shaking his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs from it. When the action resumed, Wilder connected with another big left hand that put Mansell on the canvas. Manswell got back to his feet and Wilder jumped on him hitting with a right hand followed by a left hook to put Manswell down for the third and final time. Manswell looked like he could have continued fighting but given how easily Wilder kept knocking him down, the referee opted to halt the fight at that point.
There’s a lot to like from Wilder’s performance tonight. He showed a good jab early on before he hurt Manswell for the first time. Wilder also showed a great left hook that did much of the damage for him tonight. The hook was so fast that it was putting Manswell down from both the speed and the power. The left hand is a new thing for Wilder because he’s been knocking people out pretty much just with his big right hand since he turned pro in 2008. Wilder’s left hand and jab are the final pieces in the offensive puzzle. If Wilder can keep using those weapons to win fights then he’s going to be really tough to beat. Defensively, it was really hard to tell where Wilder was at because Manswell was getting knocked down virtually every time he stood up and he wasn’t getting any opportunities to land shots.
Former light welterweight title challenger Dmitriy Salita (34-1-1, 18 KO’s) scored his fourth consecutive victory beating journeyman Roberto Valenzuela (65-65-2, 54 KO’s) by a 4th round TKO. Salita knocked Valenzuela down in the 3rd and then finished him off in the 4th.
Unbeaten featherweight Jayson Velez (19-0, 4 KO’s) defeated Harley Brea (18-10-3, 9 KO’s) by a 6th round knockout in another mismatch on the card.