Boxer Gerald Washington USC Fighter
Gerald Washington, who was born on April 23, 1982, is one of the great American boxers who was able to use his boxing skills to get a professional career to the point where he actually challenged the WBC heavyweight title holder back in 2017. Here is everything that you need to know about Gerard Washington and his career as a professional boxer leading up to his big title fight.
Gerard Washington: The Early Years
Growing up for Gerard Washington was not what you would have expected for this future professional boxer, as he was born to a father who was African American and a mother who was Mexican American. For a big part of his childhood, Washington would spend his time in Mexico, where he grew up. He would eventually go on to serve with the United States Navy, but when that did not pan out how Washington had wanted it to, he would end up going back to school at the University of Southern California (USC), where he would make the football team, playing multiple positions that included both defensive end and tight end too. While he was not drafted by any of the professional NFL teams, he would make the practice squads, having the opportunity to play on both the Buffalo Bills, as well as the Seattle Seahawks squads. Since the Navy and becoming a professional football player did not end up working out how Washington had initially imaged them too, he would find his way to the boxing ring to try his hand as a professional boxer.
Washington’s Early Boxing Career
While Washington didn’t really get started with his boxing career until the tender age of 30, he would go on to make his professional debut in 2012, where he would end up knocking out his opponent in San Jose, California, at the HP Pavilion Center. His opponent you wonder? It would be the up and coming Blue DeLong. Just one short month later in August of that same year, Washington would tally his second win by defeating the likes of Gary Cobia, securing the win with a first round TKO. This fight would be in California as well, but at the Fantasy Springs Casino, not back at the HP Pavilion. His third fight would be the very first time in his boxing career that would not see him winning by a TKO, but rather by decision at the end of the fight. This third fight would be against Terrance Perro, but Washington was the dominate fighter in that match. In fact, Perro was knocked down in the very first round, but was able to regain his composure and make it through all four rounds. As for the judge’s decision, it was a pretty one-sided match, the score cards being in favor of Washington by the tune of 39-35, 40-34, and 39-35.
Moving forward to June 8, 2013, Washington would have the chance to fight with Sherman Williams, who was a 40-year-old veteran of the sport at the time, boasting a record of 35-12-2, 19 of those wins coming in the way of knockout. Taking place in Carson, California at the home Depot Center, Washington would secure himself a unanimous decision in this 8-round fight. At this point in his professional boxing career, Washington would have had a total of 13 professional fights, winning all of them except for 2. In April of the following year (2014), Washington would pull off a second-round knockout of another American boxer, this one going by the name of Skipp Scott, and was no easy beat. With a record of 16-1 with 10 knockouts, it was originally believed that this match would have been a little bit more sporting. There was some controversy after this fight though, as Scott ended up taking a knee, but was then the recipient of a nice body shot after he had already gone down to the canvas. The fight would be stopped in the second round, at just a minute and forty seconds in. Since the end of the fight was somewhat controversial, Scott and his team would end up filing for a protest, demanding that the decision be corrected.
Only a couple of short months later in June of 2014, Washington would once again be in the ring, this time taking on another veteran by the name of Travis Walker. Walker had a decent record of 39-11-1, 31 of those wins coming as knockouts. While the fight did end up being stopped in the second round, it would be Washington once again who would prevail and earn himself the win. While there was no controversy after this fight, there would be some pretty good power shots that would be landed by Washington, forcing Walker to struggle to get back to his feet, forcing the referee to stop the fight and award Washington the win. Another quick turnaround for Washington, only two months after defeating Travis Walker, he would be in the ring once again with the younger Nagy Aguilera, who was 28 at the time and boasted a record of 19-8 with 13 knockouts. What is so significant about this particular fight, is that it would be the very first time that anybody was able to go the distance with Washington, forcing the fight to go the judges’ scorecards after the eight -round. While this match would not end up with a Washington knockout, it would end with a Washington victory, winning on the cards with a score of 78-74, 77-75, and 78-74.
Soon after this decision victory, Washington would be right back in the ring at the end of that same year, this time going against a 39-year old Mike Sheppard in December. With a record of 22-17-1 and 9 knockouts, Washington would not have to go the distance like his last match, as he was able to knock out Sheppard in just 1 minute and 26 seconds into the very first round.
Washington’s Championship Fight
Having made a name for himself by dominating just about every other boxer who he faced, Washington would soon start to earn some bigger fights, allowing him the opportunity to climb the ranks of professional boxing even higher. With several fights against contenders, he would continue his dominance of other boxers until the opportunity to fight against the then current heavyweight (WBC) champion, Deontay Wilder, who just so happened to be undefeated as well, boasting a record of 37-0, 36 of those coming from knockout. While Washington was a front runner for the fight, he was actually not scheduled for the bout that would take place on February 25, 2017. He would, however, fall into it as the boxer that was scheduled for the fight would end up testing positive for steroids, which is against the rules and means for immediate disqualification. Excited for the opportunity to take on the undefeated heavyweight champion, Washington would jump at the opportunity, confirming that he was in on January 30, just 26 days before the fight was scheduled to take place.
While Wilder would end up winning the fight with a TKO in the 5th round, it was not a one-sided affair by any means. In fact, the beginning of the fight would belong to Washington, as he started off by landing some serious power punches. However, as the fight continued on, Wilder would end up forcing Washington against the ropes, landing a combination of different power punches, the last one being to Washington’s head, forcing hi against the ropes. Washington would be able to stand back up, but his legs would be wobbly, eventually leading to Washington getting knocked down and not getting back up. Washington did have a chance to bounce back, but Wilder was simply ruthless and did not stop with the power punches, most of them connecting, finally landing one to the head again. Washington would be declared done in the fight by the referee at 1 minute and 45 seconds into the fifth round. He would later attribute the loss to the lack of experience that he had.
Washington would continue boxing to moderate success, however he would never claim the heavyweight championship that he was searching for. While his boxing career is something that most boxers can only dream of, it is something that Washington was able to use his skills and athleticism to actually make happen.
Outside of Boxing
While he was a superstar inside the boxing ring, he would run into some trouble outside of the ring. In 2014, Washington would be arrested while at a routine traffic stop in Burbank, California. While it is rumored that Washington was swerving and had expired tags on his car, he was not under the influence of anything and had cooperated with the police the entire time. What would cause for his arrest would be the fact that there was a warrant for his arrest, as he had previously gotten in trouble for driving a motor vehicle without a license. He would post bail and was out later that day.