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Deontay Wilder stops Johann Duhaupas

Image: Deontay Wilder stops Johann Duhaupas(Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions) By Jim Dower: In perhaps the hardest fight of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s career, he had to battle hard to defeat Johann Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KOs) by a grueling 11th round stoppage victory tonight at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The 6’7″ Wilder unloaded everything but the kitchen sink in the 11th round to get the stoppage against bleeding but still game Duhaupas.

The fight was stopped after Wilder unloaded with a blizzard of left hooks and uppercuts to the head of Duhaupas. Referee Jack Reiss stepped in before Wilder could add the coupe de grace against the French fighter.

Wilder had bad swelling around his left eye that gave him a sense of urgency in the fight, as his eye was in danger of closing. If Wilder was able to fight out of the southpaw stance, he would have been able to limit the damage that Duhaupas did to his left eye. Wilder could have kept his guard up higher to block the hard jabs and right hands he was getting hit with.

Duhaupas had to deal with a cut on the bridge of his nose that opened up during a really rough 4th round. Duhaupas later was cut over his left eye. But despite taking a lot of really bad punishment from Wilder, Duhaupas’s face wasn’t as bad as you would think it should be. His nose was cut badly, but that was mostly it besides a red face and some swelling arund his left eye.

In the 5th round, Wilder took the fight to the inside and battered Duhaupas with uppercuts while he was pinned against the ropes. Wilder got a lot of leverage on his uppercuts and he clearly had Duhaupas hurt and looking like he was in distress. Referee Jack Reiss checked on Duhaupas after the round had ended to see if he was okay and if he wanted to continue fighting. Duhaupas assured Reiss that he was fine and wanted to continue fighting.

Duhaupas’ work rate dropped off to next to nothing in the 6th round, as Wilder worked him over with pot shots from the outside. Duhaupas looked like he was still recovering from the massive amount of heavy shots that he’d taken in the 5th round.

In the 7th round, Wilder went back to the inside and was able to nail Duhaupas with some really good shots for an extended amount of time. Wilder really got a lot of power on his uppercuts, as he got a ton of leverage on each shot that he threw. It wasn’t as devastating work in close as it had been in the 5th for Wilder, but it was close. At one point in the 7th, Wilder did the Ali shuffle before blasting Duhaupas with a hard lead right hand that would have knocked out many fighters.

Wilder looked like he was tiring in the 8th round. He didn’t throw many punches, and spent a lot of time covering up on the ropes. If you were to give any of the rounds to Duhaupas, it would be the 8th. He landed some really good shots in the round while Wilder was resting against the ropes.

In the 9th round, Wilder came back strong to land a flurry of hard power shots to the head of Duhaupas. The punches were incredibly loud upon impact and looked powerful. Duhaupas blocked some of them, but many of them got through to his head full force. It was a really one-sided round and you had to wonder why Duhaupas’ trainer didn’t throw in the towel in this round. Duhaupas looked like he had no chance of winning the fight by this point in the fight. Wilder’s swelling in his left eye hadn’t gotten worse due to Duhaupas not going much because of the huge punches he was getting nailed with.

Duhaupas took a terrible beating late in the 10th round when Wilder unloaded on him with hard uppercuts to the head. Duhaupas made it out of the round, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to go too much longer in the fight. To be sure, Duhaupas could stay up under the constant flurries from Wilder, but the referee Jack Reiss wasn’t going to let him take those massive shots without stepping in to stop the fight sooner or later.

At the end of the 10th round, Reiss told Duhaupas not to bend his head forward when he’s fighting. It was strange because Reiss appeared to be coaching Duhaupas to tell him how he could avoid getting hit with Wilder’s uppercuts. Duhaupas had been bending forward to cover up and Wilder was just teeing off on him with massive uppercuts.

In the 11th round, Wilder hurt Duhaupas with an uppercut to the head that caused him to cover up and back away. Wilder then unloaded with a series of hard shots to the head of Duhaupas that ended with referee Jack Reiss stepping in to stop the fight at 0:55 of the round.

Duhaupas was able to land his jab frequently in the fight, and it did a lot of damage to Wilder’s swollen left eye.

All in all, it was a good performance from the 6’7″ Wilder tonight. Yes, you can say that the fight was a gross mismatch and that it was a real one-sided fight, but it was still very interesting to watch. There was suspense there even though it was one-sided because you never knew whether Wilder’s swollen left eye would cause a stoppage in the fight.

You’ve got to give Duhaupas a lot of credit for the amount of punishment he was able to take in this fight. I don’t know of too many heavyweights that would have been able to take the kinds of shots that Duhaupas took without dropping to the canvas and getting knocked out.

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In an ugly and confusing decision on the undercard, 2012 U.S Olympian super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) won a 10 round unanimous decision over Fred Kassi (18-4-1, 10 KOs) by a lopsided set of scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 100-90. Neither guy established themselves as the winner of the contest.

At best, you could maybe lean in the direction of the 36-year-old Kassi, but definitely not to Breazeale. The fans nullified the three judges’ scoring by booing the reading of the scores. When you have fans booing, it tells you that the judges messed up, and believe they really did. The judge that scored the fight 100-90 gave Kassi zero rounds in the fight. That’s just wrong. The other two judges weren’t much better. You have to wonder which fight they were watching because you can’t give rounds to a fighter for missing and getting nailed in the head all night like Breazeale was.

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