Deontay Wilder earned a sixth round TKO victory of Luis Ortiz on Saturday, retaining his WBC Heavyweight Championship in a rematch.
As the seventh round was closing out, Wilder landed a right-cross which dropped Ortiz. The fight was concluded by referee Kenny Bayless as Ortiz was attempting to get up.
Before Wilder landed his fight-ending punch, the bout was a slow ordeal. Ortiz was the more active fighter, landing the better of the minimal punches in the fight.
After the fight, Wilder said the plan is for him to face Tyson Fury next. He also mentioned that he wants a unification bout in the future.
“I want champion, one face, one name,” said Wilder in his post-fight interview.
In their first meeting, Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round. Wilder had a record of 1-0-1 between then and this fight, with Ortiz going 3-0.
Before the main event, Leo Santa Cruz defeated Miguel Flores via unanimous decision (115-112, 117-110 and 117-110), getting the vacant WBA Super Super Featherweight title.
Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA Super World Welterweight Championship in a split decision victory over Keith Thurman on Saturday night. Thurman took his first professional loss after two of the three judges gave Pacquiao the nod at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao and 115-112 Pacquiao).
In the opening minutes, Thurman was holding his own. It was near the end of the first round that Pacquiao landed the sole knockdown of the fight. Thurman was floored by a right hook, but got up quickly and didn’t take any more severe damage. The 10th round was the only other time that Thurman looked to be in trouble, showing a sour reaction to a punch to the body.
While Pacquiao had a good start, it was clear that Thurman continued to improve as the fight went on. Tides turned around halfway through the fight when Pacquiao’s combinations became less frequent and Thurman walked him down more.
After the fight, Pacquiao talked about his interest in facing the winner of Errol Spence Jr. versus Shawn Porter. He leaned more towards fighting again in 2020 as opposed to a third 2019 bout.
The co-main event of the evening was a 12 round WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator bout, with Yordenis Ugas defeating Omar Figueroa Jr. via unanimous decision (119-107, 119-107 & 119-107).
In Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday, All Elite Wrestling held an official “rally” to promote the debut event for the promotion, “Double or Nothing.” At the event, the official details for the first event were unveiled, with the first show set to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25, 2019. A second event was also announced for Jacksonville, but no date or venue was put out. It was announced that profits from that event would go towards victims of gun violence.
Along with the event reveal was a showing of the talent that is coming to the promotion. The biggest name at the event was Chris Jericho, who closed the press conference. Other names announced were Joey Janela, MJF, Adam Page, Britt Baker, So Cal Uncensored and PAC (formerly Neville). The already announced Young Bucks, Cody and Brandi Rhodes also made appearances at the event. When Cody was on-stage he emphasized that the promotion will be paying all of their talents a good amount. Brandi Rhodes, later on, echoed that statement, saying that the women’s wrestlers will be paid equally.
The first real angle shot for the promotion was PAC and Adam Page both wanting to be the first AEW Champion. PAC appeared at the event in ring attire and carrying his Dragon Gate Open The Dream Gate Championship.
During the show, it was also unveiled that All Elite Wrestling will work with Oriental Wrestling Entertainment, a Chinese based wrestling promotion.
The backers of the soon to debut promotion, Sahid Khan and Tony Khan, were both present at the event. The event was held outside the TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, which both Sahid and Tony own.
With the promotion’s first event finally having a time and place, the promotion will be launching soon.