One could imagine that Gerald Washington was taken by surprise when the call came nearly one month ago with the offer to sub in for a shot at the Heavyweight title. Washington, who will face off against undefeated Deontay Wilder this weekend in the main event of PBC on Fox, was already set on the undercard until Andrezj Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance and ultimately lead to his promotion from undercard to main event.
Washington has compiled an 18-0-1 record since turning pro in 2012 and has gained a loyal and strong following on the West Coast where he also played football for the University of South California and served in the US Navy. Last year, Washington scored the two biggest wins of his career by dominating former challengers Eddie Chambers and Ray Austin and knew that being ranked as a top-ten Heavyweight by the WBC was going to give him a shot at the Heavyweight title sooner than later.
Unlike Wawrzyk, whose presumed game plan would have been to try and draw Wilder into a fight right away to test his surgically healed arm and hand, Washington presents a different style that Wilder hasn’t exactly seen at this stage of his career.
“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,” Washington said during his media day workout leading into the fight.
While the task ahead is daunting for most fighters to take a fight on such short notice, Washington is looking ahead to make the most of the opportunity presented to him and the circumstances that allowed this fight to come to be adds another layer of intrigue between the two undefeated American Heavyweights this weekend.