France's Johann Duhaupas gave a good accounting of his toughness tonight in Alabama, but the fringe contender was dominated by WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder, who dished out a lot of punishment en route to a one-sided TKO victory in the 11th round.
Wilder (35-0, 34 KO) had to work for the stoppage win, but make no mistake, he won every round and did so convincingly. He had Duhaupas hurt a handful of times and was able to showboat some over the second half of the fight, delighting the home fans in Birmingham.
Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KO) deserves credit for doing better than expected, in that he lasted longer than expected. He showed some serious toughness and took some bombs from the big American, but he was outgunned the whole way. Early in the fight, Duhaupas did what he should have, walking down Wilder and looking for power punching openings. Though he had some moderate success, Wilder was doing more damage anyway, and established a pretty nice jab off the back foot.
"He's got a strong chin. I can see why he's never been stopped before," Wilder said of Duhaupas. "He's got a hell of a chin."
The win for Wilder ostensibly sets up a fight with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, but we'll have to see. Povetkin is scheduled to face Mariusz Wach in early November, and if he wins there, the fight would be on tap, at least in theory. Is Wilder ready for Povetkin? That's debatable, but he may be as ready as he's going to get, and he's shown a lot of things to like in his three fights this year, too.
What did you think of Wilder's win tonight? Did Duhaupas do better than you expected?