Undefeated heavyweight puncher Deontay Wilder only needed 96 seconds to earn a shot at the WBC title.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist stopped Malik Scott with the first combination he landed — a hook-straight right — dropping the most experienced fight he's faced to date for the count in the first round their Showtime televised title elimination bout on Saturday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Scott (36-2-1, 13 knockouts) had hoped to take Wilder, who has never fought beyond four rounds, into the late round of the scheudled 12 rounder. The 33-year-old Philadelphia veteran circled Wilder without throwing a punch as the KO artist stalked him behind a pawing jab.
Then, quite suddenly, Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) struck with a looping lead hook followed by straight right that crumpled Scott into the ropes where he was counted out at 1:36 of the round.
"I got power. I got natural power. This is something you can't buy. I'm blessed," Wilder told Showtime's Jim Grey after the fight. "Even if my punches hit gloves, it still hurts."
Wilder is not the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch for the vacant WBC title, which takes place in May.
A full ringside report from Tim Smith will be posted later.