Deontay Wilder defeats French challenger Johann Duhaupas with 11th round TKO

Deontay Wilder defeats French challenger Johann Duhaupas with 11th round TKO

Deontay Wilder couldn’t introduce Johann Duhaupas to the canvas at Legacy Arena Saturday night.

He couldn’t knock him down. He didn’t have to.

The Tuscaloosa native followed a 10th-round hailstorm of blows to his French challenger with a final barrage in the 11th. Fifty-five seconds into that round, referee Jack Reiss had seen enough, stopping the bout and declaring Wilder the winner by technical knockout.

An announced crowd of 8,471 roared its approval. The World Boxing Council champion strutted around the ring, jumping onto the ropes in three corners to salute the crowd.

The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau put a $1.5 million initial estimate on the economic impact the fight had on the metro area. The fight aired nationally on NBC.

“The match was a high-profile complement to recent sporting events in Birmingham, both for the area economy and for our image,” John J. Oros, president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau said. “We love that Deontay Wilder loves Alabama and told a huge viewing audience the same Saturday night. The BJCC and fight promoters did a stellar job of putting the event in its best light. The fight gave us the sort of national TV exposure we simply couldn’t afford to buy.”

Wilder enjoyed a “home ring” advantage defending his title in his native state for a second time. Shouts of “Deontay! Deontay!” were audible throughout the fight.

Naieya Wilder, the champ’s 10-year-old daughter and inspiration, joined him in the center of the ring for a hug. Later, Duhaupas joined him. The two fighters hugged and then walked around the ring together, each acknowledging respect for the other.

Wilder improved to 35-0 with 34 knockouts. Photographer Nik Layman caught these images of the fight for Alabama NewsCenter.

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