Deontay Wilder is now 9 wins away from breaking Floyd Mayweather’s 50-0 record, and he says the former world champion’s team is backing him

Deontay Wilder. Photo by AP Photo/John Locher
  • Deontay Wilder is now nine wins away from breaking Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 50-0 record, and he says he has the support of the former five-weight world champion’s team.
  • Wilder knocked out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round of their heavyweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.
  • It was the 42nd win of Wilder’s career, with 41 of those wins coming by way of knockout. He is eight wins away from going 50 fights unbeaten, like Mayweather, albeit with one draw.
  • Mayweather’s people apparently told Wilder it would be “a great accomplishment.”
  • Another great accomplishment is Wilder’s extraordinary knockout ability. He has finished 95% of his opponents, which is a far higher KO rate than the biggest hitters in heavyweight history like Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, and Mike Tyson.
  • So where does this knockout power come from? It’s God-given, Wilder told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Deontay Wilder is now nine wins away from breaking Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 50-0 record, and he says he has the support of the former five-weight world champion’s team.

Wilder, America’s hard-hitting heavyweight, made the 10th defence of his WBC title on Saturday when he came from behind to knock out the technically skilled southpaw Luis Ortiz.

The crushing victory was the 42nd of his professional career, with 41 all coming by way of knockout. Wilder remains unbeaten after 11 years as a pro, with only Tyson Fury leaving the ring without a loss because of their 2018 draw.

Beating Ortiz for the second time at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas pushes Wilder one fight closer to Mayweather’s incredible record of 50 pro bouts and no defeats, and while Mayweather himself has not mentioned the record to Wilder, it has been discussed by those close to the former five-weight world champion.

“I haven’t heard from Floyd … but his people say if I can do it, that’s a great accomplishment, and I think it would be as well even though Floyd wasn’t a heavyweight,” Wilder told Business Insider before routing Ortiz. “That is a record set in the history.”

‘No one can doubt me at this point’

One record Wilder already enjoys is that he is the most prolific knockout puncher in heavyweight championship history.

He has finished an extraordinary 95% of the opponents who have stepped into the ring to challenge him, which is a far higher percentage than other big hitters like the 1950s champion Rocky Marciano (88%), “Big” George Foreman (84%), and the “Baddest Man on the Planet” in the 1980s and 1990s, Mike Tyson (76%).

“A lot of people bring up Marciano, 49-0, Tyson, Foreman, and me,” Wilder said. “That’s an accomplishment right there. Numbers don’t lie.

“If I say certain things, it’s not good enough. People will think it’s arrogance, even if it’s factual. Why can’t I be happy and confident in myself? You can’t worry about though … no one can doubt me at this point in time. What I do, I do consistently, over and over and over again.”

Hardest hitters in heavyweight history, Marciano, Foreman, Tyson
Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, and Mike Tyson. Photos by Getty Images / Stanley Weston / The Ring magazine / Chris Smith

After beating Ortiz, Wilder said he had earned his status as “the hardest-hitting puncher in boxing history, period,” the BBC reports.

He said he just wanted to be respected for the fighter he was – somebody who could end a fight at a moment’s notice, somebody who delivered great fights for the fans, and great knockouts.

“You’ve got to give me my credit,” he said. “It’s sad that it took me over 40 fights to get the recognition that I truly deserve.”

‘My power is God-given’

Wilder’s ability to plant his feet, time his straight right hand, and leave an opponent in a heap on the canvas is a gift given to him by God, he told Business Insider.

“My power is God-given,” Wilder said. “Everything I do is natural.”

It is not uncommon to see Wilder close the gap, from one side of the ring to the other, in a second. He has an abnormal reach that he uses to its full extent, with expert leverage to generate a punch so hard that no opponent in 43 fights has been able to stand up to it. He has knocked down everybody he has ever faced, at least once.

But Wilder said there was nothing abnormal about his training; it’s just something he could do.

“I don’t do nothing to give me more reach – all that stuff is all about timing and where you are in the ring,” he said. “And that comes from experience, the ability to time a guy. To know how far apart you are from that guy.

“At some point, in your experience, you understand how far a distance you will need to set a guy up. Whether it’s doing a jab, right hand, or lead with the right hand and follow-up with a hook. You start understanding things through experience, and that’s where I am now in my career. I’m very experienced, very aware, and a lot of things I do is because of muscle memory.

“It become a part of you. Memory. Every time.”

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