By Keith Idec, photos by Ryan Hafey/PBC
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Whether Gerald Washington figuratively is big enough for this moment remains to be seen.
He is plenty big enough in the literal sense.
The 6-feet-6 Washington weighed in at 239 pounds Friday afternoon for his shot at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on Saturday night. The 6-feet-7 Wilder weighed in at 222 pounds for the fifth defense of a championship he won by beating Bermane Stiverne two years ago in Las Vegas.
Wilder’s weight Friday was his lowest since he tipped the scales at 219 for the Stiverne fight.
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from nearby Tuscaloosa, is now a 22-1 favorite entering a fight FOX will televise from Legacy Arena in Birmingham. The 34-year-old Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), a former USC football player, replaced Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs) as Wilder’s opponent last month because Wawrzyk failed a test for a performance-enhancing drug.
The 31-year-old Wilder will fight for the first time since he had separate surgeries to repair his fractured right hand and torn right biceps six months ago.
Also at the scales Friday, Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd made weight for their 12-round fight for the vacant IBF junior middleweight championship on the Wilder-Washington undercard.
Detroit’s Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs), the IBF’s No. 2 contender, weighed 153.6 pounds. The third-ranked Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, weighed in at 153 pounds even.
Earlier Friday, intriguing Polish prospect Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs) weighed in at 230.6 pounds for his 10-round heavyweight fight against Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs). Breazeale, of Eastvale, California, weighed 263 pounds, eight more than he weighed for his last fight – a seventh-round technical knockout loss to unbeaten IBF champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) on June 25 in London.
This FOX tripleheader is scheduled to start Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.