Deontay Wilder gave his Alabama fans what they anticipated in his very first WBC heavyweight title defense: a knockout.
It just came later than numerous expected, including Wilder.
Wilder effectively defended his WBC heavyweight title with a ninth-round knockout of Eric Molina on Saturday night at Bartow Arena, a short drive from his hometown.
Wilder (34-) delivered a right hand that turned Molina around and sent him falling on his back. The referee quickly signaled that the fight was more than, most likely many rounds later than numerous observers anticipated with Wilder a heavy favourite.
“I was genuinely surprised he kept coming and hanging in there,” Wilder mentioned. “A lot of people stated he wouldn’t even be about, he would not last. There were a lot of doubters, but he showed a lot of heart and I required that type of guy to fight right here in Alabama.
“A lot of people at the fight tonight have been 1st-timers so I wanted to put on a very good show. When you have a hard guy with a lot of heart in front of you, that’s what you’re going to get.”
The 6-foot-7 Wilder knocked down Molina (23-three) in the fourth and twice once more in the fifth, practically running across the ring right after him just before Molina went down the third time. The Texan withstood barrages to the head in the sixth from Wilder, and then came back robust two rounds later, landing some challenging body shots.
But the fight ended 1:57 into the ninth.
Wilder became the initially American heavyweight to claim a piece of the title with a Jan. 17 unanimous selection more than Bermane Stiverne. That came right after Wilder had recorded 32 consecutive knockouts within the first 4 rounds.
This one particular went deep, also, against Molina, whom some oddsmakers had installed as a 50-to-1 underdog. He was trying to turn into the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion.
“A lot of folks did not consider I had a shot but they had no concept what I was coming with in my heart,” Molina said. “I knew this was my chance, and I have no regrets. I left it all in the ring. “
Wilder is hoping to fight twice additional in 2015, eventually looking for a matchup with Wladimir Klitschko, who owns the other belts. He proclaimed afterward this title defense will be the “initial of numerous.”
Wilder, who had surgery on his right hand right after the Stiverne fight, delivered some of his ideal blows with the left hook. He landed 141 of 303 punches (47 percent). Molina connected on about three-quarters of his energy punches in his last fight, but was 49 of 188 general (26 %) against Wilder.
Far more known for his highly effective proper hand, Wilder knocked Molina down with a left hook in the final seconds of the fourth moments soon after the crowd started chanting “Deontay.” Molina, who teaches kids with disabilities complete-time, stated he twisted his left ankle following one of the early knockdowns.
He did not query the referee’s selection to quit the fight, but thought he could have kept going.
“It was two superior shots and I went down, and I was going to maintain acquiring up till he truly place me to sleep,” Molina mentioned. “I got up and felt like I was fine, but that is what they pay the referee to do. He did his job, and I’m fine with that.”
Molina appeared to shake Wilder up momentarily with a correct in the third.
“It was a couple-second buzz and then I came back to the fight,” Wilder mentioned. “It was a fantastic shot. I absolutely wasn’t hurt at any time in the fight.”