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Gerald Washington believes he’ll beat Deontay Wilder on Sat.

Deontay Wilder boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: Gerald Washington (18-0-1 12 KOs) will be coming in as a replacement opponent to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) on Saturday night, but he believes he’s going to get the victory over the 6’7’” champion. Washington is so confident that he’ll win the fight that he’s already dreaming of fighting in the UK in a large stadium.

Washington, 34, says he’s fought in front of 90,000 fans in the past when he played college football for USC in Los Angeles, California. Washington’s mentioning of wanting to fight in a stadium in England gives the boxing fans a big hint that he has his mind on fighting IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the future if the two of them win their next fights.

Joshua is defending his title against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29. Washington is the underdog against Deontay. There’s a wide gulf in talent, speed and punching power between Washington and Wilder. The main thing Washington has going for him is his jab. Washington’s 6’7” height won’t be a factor because Wilder is the same size, and he does well against fighters that are as big as him.

Washington just needs to keep his mind on the obstacle in front of him on Saturday night in his fight against Wilder. It’s not a good idea for Washington to be thinking ahead of this match towards a large fight against Anthony Joshua in a large football stadium in the UK. A pipe dream like that could distract Washington from the task at hand against Wilder.

It’s always best that fighters like Washington realize the role they play in fights. Washington is the B-side replacement opponent that is being brought in to replace another B-side fighter in Andrzej Wawrzyk, who recently tested positive for a banned drug in the run up to the Wilder fight and was replaced. If Washington was ranked by the World Boxing Council at No.1 rather than No.8, then he could be taken a lot more seriously. But for Washington to receive a high ranking at #1 with the WBC, he would likely need to beat someone good. It’s unclear whether Washington has the talent to beat a true top fighter in the top 15 of the heavyweight division.

“I would love to, to be a real world champion,” Washington said to Behind The Gloves. “I would love to go to the UK and fight in a stadium. I played in the [USC Trojans college football team’s] LA Coliseum in front of 93,000 people so I know what it is to be in front of those people. But I know those guys are getting ready to make their move over here. Anthony Joshua wants to fight in the States.”

Wilder’s huge punching power is going to make it almost impossible for Washington to realize his vision of fighting in front of a large crowd in the UK. Washington has a slow and some would say lackadaisical, style of fighting. It’s not conducive for Washington to beat a talent like Wilder. It takes speed, energy, power and total focus to have a chance against Deontay. I’m afraid that Washington’s lazy-like style of fighting is probably going to lead to him getting knocked out in four rounds or less on Saturday night.

Let’s be honest. Joshua vs. Washington probably wouldn’t be a big enough fight for a large 90,000 seat football stadium in the UK. Even if Washington were to pull off an upset against Wilder, a fight between him and Joshua is not worthy of being staged in a large 90,000 seat football stadium. It’s more of a fight that would be destined for the O2 Arena in London, England, which seats 20,000 boxing fans. Joshua-Washington would be a good fight for the 12,500 seat Wembley Arena in London, but definitely not Wembley Stadium. That’s not realistic for Washington to be dreaming of a fight in a stadium that size. However, if Washington were to beat Wilder on Saturday, and then hold onto the WBC title for five to seven years, beating everyone he faces over that time frame, then a fight between him and Joshua at Wembley Stadium would be a possibility. Of course, Washington would likely have already fought Joshua long before that in a smaller area in the O2, so it’s pointless to even discuss a scenario for them to be fighting at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans.

“I’m ready to shock the world,” Washington said. “Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston on February 25 to capture the heavyweight championship of the world, and it’s my turn to do the same.”

Comparing himself to Muhammad Ali is probably not the smartest thing for Washington to do. He’s now shown Ali-like talent since he turned pro in 2012. Washington looked lackluster in his recent fights against Eddie Chambers and Amir Mansour. You can argue that Washington deserved to lose to Mansour in their fight in 2015, which was surprisingly scored as a 10 round draw. I thought Washington should have lost that fight by a minimum of 4 rounds.

Washington looked good at times, but Mansour was the one landing the bigger shots in every round of the fight. The only problem Mansour had was the judges weren’t giving him credit for landing those shots much of the time, as they still gave Washington a draw.

The keys to victory for Washington on Saturday night is for him to go after Wilder immediately with right hands in round 1, looking to knock him out before he gets warmed up. The longer Washington waits to go after the Wilder, the more likely he ends up getting knocked out by the hard hitting Alabama star.

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