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Gerald Washington steps in to face Deontay Wilder

Rob Day

Rob Day has experience writing for Ringnews24, Boxrec and he has written for boxing magazine, Bocsio. Rob covers boxing in the South of Wales. He can be found occasionally as a guest on boxing radio shows.

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WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, has been searching for an opponent in order to defend his title. His scheduled defence is set for February 25th at the Legacy Arena, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Alabama.

Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk failed a drug test, as part of the WBC Clean Boxing Program. He tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

Gerald Washington (18-0, 12 KOs), has been confirmed as Deontay Wilder’s replacement opponent. Washington has stopped Travis Walker, Skipp Scott and, an ancient, Ray Austin. The 34-year-old, orthodox boxer from California, holds wins over Sherman Williams, Nagy Aguilera, Jason Gavern and Eddie Chambers. The 6’6″ Heavyweight, also, holds a draw against the rugged, tough Amir Mansour.

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Gerald is looking forward to this opportunity: “I’m very happy to get this opportunity to fight for my first world championship,” Washington said. “I know that I’ll be fighting Deontay Wilder in his backyard, but that adds more excitement to the fight for me. I’m looking forward to going to Birmingham and coming away with a victory just like I did in my last fight there.”

Promoter Lou Dibella shared his thoughts on the replacement: “This is a more competitive opponent, a more dangerous guy,” DiBella said. “He’s a physically imposing, huge guy. He’s a physical specimen. He’s a great athlete.”

31-year-old Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), has been out since a hand injury he sustained, when stopping challenger Chris Arreola back in July 2016. “The Bronze Bomber” will be making the fifth defence of the title he won against Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. He’s successfully defeated Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka and Chris Arreola – none of his opponents reached the final bell.

The champion welcomed Washington as his opponent: “I was disappointed when Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance and wasn’t available to fight. I didn’t want to disappoint my loyal fans in Birmingham, who have always supported me,” Wilder said. “I’m glad Gerald Washington stepped up to the challenge and allowed us to go forward with the show. He’s a tall heavyweight with a good jab and the kind of test that I need coming back from surgery on my biceps muscle and my right hand. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show for all my fans.”

Wilder vs Washington will headline the Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox, in prime time, on February 25th. Chief support is a fascinating clash of prospects between Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) and Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) in the super welterweight division. Also, an exciting Heavyweight clash between Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) and Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs).

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