It may not have been easy, but Deontay Wilder successfully defended his WBC Heavyweight title after knocking out Gerald Washington in five rounds.
Wilder was making his first appearance in the ring since last summer when he suffered hand and bicep injuries which required surgery, and looked slow to the trigger for the first four rounds of the fight. Washington, who took the fight on short notice when original opponent Andrezj Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance, worked behind a strong jab to control the first four rounds.
Though Wilder fell behind, all he needed was one clean shot to drop Washington in the fifth. As the two came to close quarters, Wilder connected a hard shot with a short right hand that sent Washington down and had him out on his feet for the follow up barrage.
With the win, Wilder moves to 38-0 and retains his WBC Heavyweight title, taking time after the fight to call out WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for a potential unification fight pending the outcome of Parker’s bout with Hughie Fury this spring.
Washington falls to 18-1-1 with the loss, though performing admirably on short notice, but can still find himself in the mix for another meaningful fight in the near future.
Jarrett Hurd Weathers The Storm, Stops Tony Harrison to Win Vacant Title
In the most anticipated bout of the night, Jarrett Hurd had to fall behind big on the scorecards before he got rolling, but the upstart Junior Middleweight came on when he had to and knocked out Tony Harrison in the (round) of their title fight.
Harrison dominated the duration of the bout for six rounds, frequently landing on Hurd and controlling the pace. The tactical match was not working in Hurd’s favor, but towards the end of the sixth, Hurd began landing with more authority and nearly dropped Harrison in the seventh.
The beating Harrison took in the seventh didn’t stop him, but left him out of gas as Hurd continued to batter Harrison in the eighth and leaving him more worse for wear going into the ninth. A compact right hand from Hurd put Harrison down for the count, cumulating a mid-fight comeback from disaster.
Hurd moves to 22-0 with the win and captures the IBF Junior Middleweight title vacated by Jermall Charlo, finding himself right in the thick of things in boxing’s deepest division. Harrison falls to 24-2, once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as a strong start ends in another big knockout as it did in his first loss to Willie Nelson.
Dominic Breazeale Stops Izuagbe Ugonoh in Five
Former Heavyweight title challenger Dominic Breazeale had to survive more than a handful of rocky moments against unknown Izuagbe Ugonoh in the opening bout of the show, but survive he did and stopped Ugonoh in the fifth round of a hard-hitting brawl.
Brezeale was getting dominated for the duration of the bout, but was able to take Ugonoh’s shots and fired back when the Polish fighter tired from emptying his arsenal. After losing the first two rounds and on his way to losing the third, Breazeale landed a thunderous shot to drop Ugonoh, but Ugonoh was able to recover and continue taking the fight to Breazeale.
In the fourth, both fighters were hideously exhausted, but Ugonoh continued batter Breazeale and scored a knockdown of his own. Breazeale went for broke in the fifth and finally hit paydirt when he dropped Ugonoh a second time and the follow up barrage sent him through the ropes and ended the fight.
With the win, Breazeale moves to a shaky 18-1 having endured yet another tremendous beating in the process. Ugonoh drops to 17-1 and made plenty of fans in his performance, but may more than likely head back overseas until another domestic Heavyweight prospect needs a foe.