(Reuters) - American heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder defended his WBC title with a knockout of Artur Szpilka at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday.
More drama followed the contest when WBA and WBO Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury climbed into the ring and said he wanted to fight Wilder in a unification bout.
Szpilka, who was bidding to become Poland’s first world heavyweight champion, made it a close battle before absorbing a tough right hand to the chin with 2:24 left in the ninth round.
Szpilka (20-2) was unconscious for a few moments before recovering following the bout.
Wilder (36-0) displayed his power yet again and has now knocked out 35 opponents in 36 fights.
“He was definitely a crafty guy,” Wilder told reporters. “I haven’t competed against a southpaw in three years. He was a tough competitor, but you’re fighting for a world title. It’s not supposed to be easy. I’m surprised it took that long, but we had 12 rounds and they all can’t be pretty.”
Wilder is the first American heavyweight champion in nearly a decade.
In an earlier showdown, Charles Martin won the IBF Heavyweight World Championship after Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered a reported torn right ACL injury in the third round and had to retire from the match.
Martin (23-0-1) becomes the second current American heavyweight titlist.
Glazkov (21-1-1), a previously unbeaten Ukrainian, slipped early in the third and never recovered. He fell to the canvas later after throwing a punch.
“I still wanted to fight,” Martin said. “We trained for 12 rounds and we were going to get stronger as the rounds went on. I’m sorry for him. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t continue the fight.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan Chakraborty