A nation's lonely eyes have scanned persistently and faithfully for many moons, for a true-blue American-made champ. They want a red, white and blue wrapped guy, he can be black or white or what have you, to be able to call their own: the heavyweight champion of the world.
Do the eyes have it, in Deontay Wilder?
Can't say, not yet…he took out a Frenchman known to nobody in even, really, the insider boxing sphere, and played that man, Johann Duhaupus, like a .99 Cent Store pinata, whacking him around ceaslessly for ten plus rounds.
The Bama guy Wilder (age 29) had his hand raised on Saturday night, and upped his mark to 35-0, Birmingham, Alabama, after the ref saw enough in the `11th. Dupe was eating clean hard shots, too many, and Jack Reiss pulled the plug on it.
Dupe won fans for his chin and willingness to get it smashed.
In the first, the 31-2 JD (age 34) looked soft. The 6-5 under-double-dog ate jabs from the start and hooks. He stalked but the Bama guy moved, slid left, and was so relaxed against a slow foe. In the second, we saw a paw jab but then a hard right from Wilder. He owned the round. Trainer Mark Breland asked for him to “split the gloves” with a piercing jab, after the round. We saw blood on the bridge of Dupe's nose, and we spotted scar tissue there pre-fight, so I'm guessing he was cut a couple weeks ago.
In the third, Wilders' left eye was puffy. Then he got cracking, and had Dupe in trouble. But not so bad that he didn't finish the round. A nasty left hook by Wilder had the crowd jazzed in the fourth. In the fifth, Wilder moved laterally, and that left eye was puffier. He added in uppercuts now…Dupe ate for about 45 seconds late. Would he stay erect? To the sixth, after ref Jack Reiss warned Dupe to show him something, Wilder stayed on attack. The blood on Dupes' face attested to his effectiveness. One twos landed, and he then added a hook and a slide-out, a few times.
In the seventh, Dupe was in trouble. Reiss stared hard…You OK, he asked him at 1:22…He stayed erect, and landed a couple uppercuts but not with crazy pop. To the 8th and 9th, Dupe was hanging in, hanging one, staying present, hoping that he could land one that Wilder didn't see. In the 10th, Dupe was hurt and held. He was more hurt the next round and the ref halted it.