Gerald Washington: Year of the Rooster
By: Francisco Martinez
After Alexander Povetkin & Andrzej Wawrzyk tested positive for performing enhancing drugs the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was left without a dancing partner until Gerald Washington quickly stepped up and claimed the empty slot for a shot at the green belt. Now setting up a February 25th showdown between himself & The Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama where Wilder has made 3 of his successful 4 title defenses. Last one coming against veteran Chris Arreola who Wilder stopped in 8 severe punishing rounds. However in the process of handing Arreola a brutal beatdown Wilder suffered a torn bicep and a broken hand.
Since having surgery to repair the damage & recovering Deontay Wilder is now set to defend his title against Gerald Washington who is aware of Wilder’s surgically repaired hand but insists that’s not in his focus whatsoever “I’m expecting the best Deontay Wilder there is. It’s gonna be the best. He’s the smartest that he’s ever been at this moment because he’s got most experience he’s ever had right now. I know he’s a dangerous fighter I just have to prepare for the best and I gotta be able to let my guns go too. I just can’t let him walk up on me and think he can fire for free. You gotta pay every time you come over here and I’m a be stepping to him too”
Gerald Washington’s Trainer John Pullman added this to the conversation of Deontay Wilder’s surgically repaired hand “I know he had surgery on his hand & bicep after his last fight but as far as me worrying about that being an issue in the fight, to me, I’m preparing for the best Deontay Wilder. We’re preparing for the best Deontay Wilder. We’re not preparing for a hurt Deontay Wilder cause we’re not banking on any of that. As far as I know he’s throwing his right hand as good as new as best as it’s ever been. We’re ready for the best Deontay Wilder that’s who we’re preparing for”
Upon laying your eyes on Gerald Washington you can quickly see he’s a naturally athletic individual standing 6 ft 5 in, about 240lbs the former U.S. Navy & USC college football star has made his transition into boxing a seamless one and his journey to a world title a well traveled one coming from Northern California the city of Vallejo joined by his long time trainer John Pullman who hails from Connecticut. Bouncing around from gym to gym until trainer John Pullman decided to open up his own in the city of Burbank in Southern California. Pullmans Gym is now home to both and have found great rhythm to their cohesive partnership which has lead to this point of their careers, a WBC heavyweight title opportunity an opportunity that Washington describes as a “blessing from God” as he goes on to say
“Its an amazing opportunity. We come here everyday, we work hard everyday right here, he opened up this gym, Pullmans gym in Burbank, California. We got the opportunity to bring the heavyweight championship of the world here to Burbank, Pullmans Gym. It means the world to us. He came all the way from Connecticut and I’m from Vallejo, California the Bay Area. I was in the military I went to USC I played football and I pursued my lifelong dream as a kid. I’m seeing my passion as being a boxer and look where I’m at now? I got the opportunity to take the bull by the horns and grasp the day and put my name on that list of great champions. That’s an amazing feeling for me and my family. It’s a proud moment for me and it’s something that I really want to capture so I’m a give it all I got”
John Pullman share the same passionate feelings and emotions as Gerald Washington as Pullman expresses “This is it right here. This is what you get into the business of boxing for. For opportunities like this. Gerald is very excited. We’re happy, we’re grateful. We’re excited for this opportunity but there’s a difference between being grateful and excited and satisfied. A lot of people get the chance for a world title and be happy to be there. That’s not how it really goes over here. We’re grateful for the opportunity but we’re not just happy for that. We’re not just happy to be there. We’re coming to do a job”
With 37 wins and 36 of those coming via knockout for Deontay Wilder obviously the clear & present danger is his devastating power. Gerald Washington unlike most heavyweights Wilder has faced utilizes a skillful footwork that only found in most fighters about two divisions below their weight. A skill Washington plans on using against the powerful knockout puncher Wilder “He has all the tools. He’s a big long guy. He’s strong. He’s got knockout power. He’s a big scary dude I got to go in there respecting him and everything he can do. I gotta be prepared for everything. I gotta be my best that night to capture the night. So I’m just working on sharpening my tools and be the best I can be”
BoxingInsider.com: “You have defense. You have good movement for a heavyweight, unnatural movement but you’ve seen how he’s landed on some of the guys and how he has put them down is that a concern for you stepping in there with a guy who has that kind power?”
Gerald Washington: “Every guy that I step into the ring with has power. I treat every guy like they’re Mike Tyson. In my mind I don’t want to get hit with anything. I’m an intellectual fighter. I like guys like Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and Andre Ward. Those type of fighters who like to be smart and tactfully in the ring. That’s the type of fighter I gotta be man and use all those tools. If Hopkins can survive Kovalev than I can just be smart and I’m a be offensive too. I gotta mix everything together and put it all together”
February 25th at The Legacy Arena, the home of the Bronze Bomber, Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington is set for the heavyweight WBC championship of the world in a classic heavyweight match up where one punch can end it all. So tune in for this PBC on FOX telecast you won’t want to miss it.
Follow coverage of the fight by using #WilderWashington