Deontay Wilder’s reputation as the greatest power-puncher since the retirement of Mike Tyson – or perhaps ever – has almost been accepted as a fact by even the most nostalgic of boxing fans.
The American has fast-become a ‘must-watch’ solely because of his otherworldly ability to demolish some of the toughest men on the planet, justifying high pay-per-view prices even if his contests are wrapped up early.
Here, Boxing Social looks through some of the former WBC champion’s most eye-catching stoppages…
5. Bermane Stiverne II
— Everlast (@Everlast_) December 19, 2017
In 2015, Bermane Stiverne did something that nobody else could and lasted the distance against a bone-chilling Wilder. This encouraged the Alabama big man to give the Haitian another shot at the world title, with the aim of holding a knockout win over every opponent of his undefeated, thirty-eight fight career.
Stiverne foolishly agreed and, not only did the champion dispose of his prey, but he did so in emphatic style, with a brutal first-round knockout putting a full stop on the performance and silencing any suggestions that his power was overhyped.
4. Artur Szpilka
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) October 27, 2017
Despite holding an Olympic Bronze, Wilder is often criticised for a lack of technical boxing skill, labelled more as a demolition truck than a master of the arts. However, in his 2016 contest with Artur Szpilka, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ showcased his undoubtable ability to time a punch, landing a straight right-hand on the Polish southpaw as soon as he dropped his hands.
Whilst he may not have the footwork of Vasily Lomachenko, Wilder’s instinctive timing, in combination with subhuman force, has turned the lights out for many of his foes, none more so that Spzilka with this spine-tingling blow.
3. Luis Ortiz II
#FightAnniversary – Wilder vs Ortiz 2
The road to victory wasn’t easy, but the finish was spectacular💥 .
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) November 24, 2020
Many will argue that Wilder’s first victory over Luis Ortiz was more iconic for the now 37-year-old, capping off a tough nights’ work against the previously undefeated Cuban. Although, the second fight showed something else in the American – the will and heart of a champion.
‘King Kong’ was well on his way to avenging his lone career defeat, outboxing and hurting Wilder throughout the first seven rounds, until he was halted by a vicious one-punch-knockout that left him visibly shellshocked on the canvas. The term ‘punchers’ chance’ is often uttered when discussing a hard-hitting heavyweight, but after witnessing the ultimate ‘get out of jail card’, it seemed like it was more of a ‘punchers’ inevitability’ when tasked with the towering Wilder.
2. Robert Helenius
DEONTAY WILDER PUTS HELENIUS TO SLEEP IN THE FIRST ROUND pic.twitter.com/w4g71M9lBl
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2022
That same inevitability factor and perception of immortality as a champion was removed from Wilder’s aura in the next two fights, where he was twice knocked out by Tyson Fury. After over a year away from the ring, and nearly three years without victory, there was little faith that Wilder could ever recover from such character-crushing contests and return to the peak of the division.
That was until he announced his return onto the heavyweight scene in style, overcoming the obstacle of self-doubt to starch an in-form Robert Helenius in the opening round of his comeback. The punch was unconventional, and far away from a textbook counter-right, but that only made the sense of his overwhelming power more concerning, with fans taking note that further work on the fundamentals could lead to even more ‘pop’ in his punches.
1. Dominic Breazeale
😰 Wilder – Breazeale 😰
As the year draws to a close we take a look at some of the best knockouts that we've seen on Sky Sports in 2019.
Is this Deontay Wilder knockout your favourite? 🤔👇 pic.twitter.com/vhnNDO7OL7
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 28, 2019
Over a forty-six fight career, Wilder has accumulated an astonishing twenty-one first-round stoppages. However, none shook the world as much as his intimidating outing against Dominic Breazeale. Fresh from a draw with Tyson Fury, Wilder was looking for a statement win to inflict worry onto those who doubted that he could defeat the Brit.
After just two minutes, Wilder landed one of the purest strikes of his career – a speedy, clean right-hand onto the chin of Breazeale. The WBC champion walked off in pride as soon as it landed, knowing extent the unrecoverable damage that he had caused and striking fear into any of his fellow heavyweights who felt that he may have been vulnerable.