Birmingham: Unbeaten Deontay Wilder battered French challenger Johann Duhaupas en route to an 11th-round technical knockout on Saturday to retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight world title.
In front of his home state fans in Birmingham, Alabama, Wilder displayed his fierce power as he took his record to 35-0 with 34 wins inside the distance.
It was the dominant performance expected against the French journeyman, a 34-year-old fighting in the United States for the first time in his first world title bid.
But Duhaupas showed why he had never before been stopped inside the distance as he absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment.
Duhaupas was still on his feet, his face bloodied and bruised, when referee Jack Reiss called a halt 55 seconds into the 11th round -- as Wilder let go with yet another barrage.
Duhaupas had shown no sign he was intimidated by the US knockout artist, moving forward from the opening bell.
But Wilder landed the harder shots, cutting the challenger on the bridge of the nose in the first round and putting him in serious jeopardy in the third with a series of brutal combinations.
In the fifth, Wilder -- untroubled by significant swelling under his left eye -- connected with a series of damaging uppercuts and he continued to dish out the punishment the rest of the way, even after Duhaupas appeared to enjoy a second wind in the eighth.
"He`s got a hell of a chin," said Wilder, who had been past the eighth round only twice before -- in the 12-round unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne in January that made him the first American since 2006 to hold a major heavyweight belt and in his first title defence in June, a ninth-round knockout of Eric Molina.
Wilder took a swipe at those who criticized the bout as a mismatch.
"Without his toughness and ability to keep coming, I wouldn`t be able to display what I have," Wilder said of the Frenchman, who fell to 32-3.
For the American, the fight televised live on NBC in the first broadcast of a heavyweight world title bout by a major US network since 1985 was a step on what he hopes is a path to the undisputed heavyweight world title.
That goal will likely require a clash with Wladimir Klitschko, whose scheduled October 24 title defense against Britain`s Tyson Fury has been postponed due to a calf injury to Ukraine`s long-reigning world champ.