Preview: Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington

By Robert Ecksel on February 24, 2017
Preview: Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington
Washington is slow and can be hit, which makes him an ideal opponent for the champ.

If you think competitive fights don’t matter, a subject not worth debating, it will be fun watching Wilder destroy another no-hoper…

On Saturday, February 25, at the Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), the knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, defends his title against unbeaten Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), “El Gallo Negro” from San Jose, California.

Wilder’s original opponent was Andrzej Wawrzyk, but the Polish heavyweight champion failed a pre-fight drug test and that was that.

Enter Gerald Washington.

Washington is big. He has heavy hands. But he is slow and can be hit, which makes him an ideal opponent for the champ.

The result of the fight may be a foregone conclusion, no one in their right mind believes Washington will win, let alone go the distance, but that matters only if you think competitive fights matter. However, if you think competitive fights don’t matter, a subject not worth debating, it will be fun watching Wilder destroy another no-hoper, especially for the casual fan.

Wilder is personable. He has an emotional back-story. He is media savvy. He cannot be blamed for the lack of depth in the heavyweight division, since he is neither the matchmaker nor promoter. Wilder just does what he’s supposed to do and KOs whoever they put in front of him. If his recent attempt to step it up and fight Alexander Povetkin ended up in court instead of the ring, well, so much better for the lawyers who profited from boxing’s misfortune.

But for Washington, who has fought in the shadows against mostly top 20 fighters, this bout is a dream come true.

“This felt like destiny,” he said. “It’s the year of the Rooster and it’s my time. It was only a matter of time and it happened to come early. I’m grateful I stayed in the gym and I stayed prepared. It’s just a matter of me locking in on Deontay Wilder.”

Locking in on Wilder won’t be hard. At 6-feet-7-inches he’s a big target. But unfortunately for Washington, he’s a moving target and one that may prove tricky to nail.

“I have a lot that Deontay hasn’t seen before,” said Washington. “He’s young to the sport of boxing like me. Every fight for me has been a learning process. I’m an unorthodox fighter and I know how to use my size. I’m more athletic than all of the guys he’s been in the ring with. I’m big and strong and I can punch. It’s going to be a good fight. Deontay won’t be able to hit me from outside. It’s going to be a matter of who has better fundamentals, who’s sharper and remembers that defense wins championships.”

It’s good to hear someone celebrate defense, especially in a sport where fundamentals are often in short supply. But in the final analysis it’s not defense, but punches, that put men down and out.

“Knockouts do happen,” Washington said. “I’m trying to win every round. I’m not expecting any favors. I know I have to beat him convincingly. I have to do it all the way.

“Luckily I boxed as a kid so when I picked it up again I already had the love and passion. People don’t want it for real after they get hit in the face. It’s a hard road but you have to take those bumps and bruises to climb and reach this level.”

Despite the bravado, Washington knows what he is up against.

“He is a hell of a fighter,” said Washington. “We all know Deontay Wilder is a big strong knockout puncher. We are preparing for the best Deontay Wilder that there is. I only have 14 amateur fights. I only have 19 professional fights. I don’t have all that experience that this guy has. He has been in there. He has the Olympic experience. He has been in there with all the pros, in the sparring camps and stuff like that and he has learned a lot along the way. I have got to put it all on the line that night. This fight is very important to me and it is going to take everything I’ve got.”

We wish Gerald Washington well. For his sake, hopefully he wins the fight, because an opportunity of this magnitude may not appear again if he gets knocked out as expected.

Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington will be televised live on FOX and FOX Deportes starting at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. JJ Austin 12:56pm, 02/25/2017

    Sure there’s always a possibility, but with so many cheaters in all sports (Mcguire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemons, Povetkin, Silva, Armstrong (cyclist), etc I’m VERY cautious to accuse guys like Tyson without any solid evidence whatsoever.. His basic boxing skills alone were better than most guys today who don’t even have a jab or any head movement.. I’m talking about him with Rooney in his prime, not later with Don king.  Tua was also a great Heavyweight

  2. Moon Man 08:54am, 02/25/2017

    His muscles atrophied though. Sure, his body was use to a strict training routine and some atrophy would be expected, but whatever his weight, he looked “smaller.” Right before fighting McNeeley, Tyson had gotten up to about 240lbs, and had dropped to about 220-222lbs in training. It was noted that Tyson had experienced some “muscle deterioration” while incarcarated. There is no doubting that Tyson had superior genetics, all you have to do is look at photos of him as a kid, but there is a possibility with him, as with any pro athlete, that he might have taken PEDs.

  3. JJ Austin 08:19am, 02/25/2017

    No, the burden of proof is one anyone that says Tua or Tyson DID use peds.. Unless   one can offer ANY solid proof then even the suggestion is irresponsible at best.. And Tyson didn’t “shrink” in prison. He stayed right at about 215-225, his normal walk around and fighting weight.

  4. Moon Man 07:03am, 02/25/2017

    Who is to say whether Tyson or Tua took steroids. Tyson is surely suspect. For all the talk about his superior genetics, and how large he was as a 13 year old, he seemed to lose some size while in prison. Of course that could be because of the prison food, that would probably make anyone lose weight. Hmmm, come to think of it, steroids, probably like other drugs, are probably more attainable in prison than on the outside.

  5. JJ Austin 05:24pm, 02/24/2017

    Also, Tyson or David Tua dominated without Ped use so it can certainly be done

  6. JJ Austin 05:12pm, 02/24/2017

    Have to disagree about no shorter guys will ever be HWCHAMP again.. If a guy 5-10 to 6-2 with the speed and power combination of Tyson comes along again he will dominate the bigger guys as Tyson did. Most have either untested (wilder, Joshua) or glass jaws like klitschko and will be in huge trouble against a smaller, power punching, fresher Tyson type.. But those guys are admittingly few and far between

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:04pm, 02/24/2017

    He could probably beat up or KO half of the guys I cited but the problem is that the other half could probably bulldoze the spindly legged bugger right into the canvas so that’s why he’s fighting Washington.

  8. No10Count 01:03pm, 02/24/2017

    The best thing that could happen here is for Washington to win.
    Will he - no way. Why? Because he would have to KO Wilder to win. He will NEVER win a decision here in AL.

    It would/could make for a bigger fight in the rematch.
    This would keep Wilder away from Joshua.

    And I think that the HW division is the best it’s been during the SHW era.
    Multiple people who are 6’5 or more who can box.  Gone are the days or 6’2
    or shorter HW champions. PED testing will make sure of that.

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:46pm, 02/24/2017

    The division may not be deep but there’s guys he could fight…..Ortiz…..Haye…..Miller…..Joshua…..Parker….Wlad. Rather see him in with Stiverne again or even Briggs for Christ’s sake than Washington.

Leave a comment