That is the view of boxing expert Steve Bunce, who relived the Bronze Bomber’s dramatic win over 38-year-old Cuban Ortiz on the BBC’s 5 Live Boxing podcast this week.
“When you watch it again, without commentary and without knowing the result, Wilder actually looks like he is stopped at the end of one round,” Bunce said.
“You know he is not stopped because he manages to stop Ortiz two or three rounds later.
“But watching it in silence and watching it as if for the very first time, you would not have complained [if it had been stopped].
“Sometimes when we look at Deontay Wilder is, we know he’s got a great record and his people are hard to deal with – but what we don’t talk about is last time out, he came within a second or one punch of losing.
“A second or one punch. Whether that actually adds or detracts from the negotiating table when Eddie Hearn gets to America, I don’t know. But it should be a factor.”
Following a slow start that earned a ripple of boos from a restless – and, tellingly, under-capacity – crowd at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, the heavyweight showdown burst into life in the fifth round.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) found a home with his bazooka right hand to knock Ortiz down in the fifth round but was unable to put the veteran away before the bell.
However, the fight was turned on its head in the seventh as Ortiz threatened to blow the 32-year-old away with a tornado of combinations that had Wilder all but out on his feet against the ropes.
Another clean strike would surely have ended the contest – but again, the clock came to the rescue as the bell sounded for the end of the round.
Wilder was in cruise control for the eighth, managing to recover in time to launch another attack in the 10th.
In the end, it could be said that he outlasted rather than outmanoeuvred his wily opponent – but the result stayed the same.
With now Joshua having emerged unscathed from his heavyweight unification clash with Joseph Parker, Wilder’s team now appear more keen than ever to negotiate a money-spinning showdown.
Wilder’s co-managers, Jay Deas and Shelley Finkel, both issued statements yesterday demanding talks with the former Olympic gold medallist.