Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) knocked out close friend Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13 KOs) in the opening stanza at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Scott kept his distance for most of round one. Wilder used his long jab to set Scott up.
The crowd began to boo Scott - who moved around the ring, but wasn’t throwing any punches. Wilder stayed composed. He stalked Scott, looking to unleash a powerful shot.
Scott had said before the bout that he needed to get Wilder into round five.
It wasn’t going to happen.
Wilder landed a left hook to the temple and a glancing right hand down the middle. Scott went down on his side. His eyes looked clear, but his legs weren’t reacting. The referee reached the fatal count of 10 as Scott began to stand.
The time was 1:36.
“I got power. It’s all natural power,” Wilder said in the ring after the fight. “I’m blessed. Even if my punches hit the gloves, it still hurts.”
Wilder is now in line to challenge the winner of the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch, which takes place in May of this year.