American Deontay Wilder says he is ready for a heavyweight unification bout with Britain’s Anthony Joshua after beating Luis Ortiz to retain his WBC title.
Wilder, 32, floored the previously unbeaten Cuban twice before knocking him out in the 10th round in New York.
IBF and WBA champion Briton Joshua, 28, will fight New Zealand’s WBO champion Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31.
“I want to unify. I am ready whenever those guys are,” said Wilder.
He survived a scare in the seventh round to claim the 40th win of his unbeaten career following a right uppercut at the Barclays Center.
“I figured out a way to come back. A true champion always finds a way. That’s what I did tonight,” said Wilder, who has successfully defended his title seven times.
Wilder knocked Ortiz down in the fifth round, but the 38-year-old responded with a right hook and left hand and a barrage of his own as Wilder just managed to survive the seventh.
“He hit me with flurry of punches but it wasn’t hard,” said Wilder. “He knocked me off balance. I just had to get my fundamentals back and I did.”
Ortiz, who had won all 28 of his previous fights and weighted in almost 30lb heavier than Wilder, was knocked down again in the 10th before the referee stopped the fight with 55 seconds remaining in the round.