DiBella: Unlike Wilder-Wawrzyk, 'Nervous' About Wilder-Washington

By Keith Idec

Lou DiBella wouldn’t worry if Deontay Wilder was preparing to fight Andrzej Wawrzyk on Saturday night.

Despite Wawrzyk’s 33-1 record, DiBella is confident Wilder would’ve knocked out the Polish contender in his first fight following surgeries to repair his fractured right hand and torn right biceps. Wilder is heavily favored to beat Gerald Washington, too, but DiBella doesn’t feel quite as sure about the nationally televised Wilder-Washington fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title in Birmingham, Alabama (FOX).

Washington replaced Wawrzyk as Wilder’s opponent last month because Wawrzyk failed a test for a performance-enhancing drug. The undefeated former USC football player is inexperienced compared to Wilder, but at 6-feet-6 and 245 pounds is almost as tall and heavier than the 6-7, 225-pound Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs).


“I’m a little nervous about the main event – like totally seriously,” DiBella told “Deontay’s coming off two opponents in a row that changed at the last minute. And the trial with Povetkin was at this period of time. I know that Deontay is the hardest-punching heavyweight in the world and I have full faith in his ability.

“But I just think that all of a sudden you’re substituting in an opponent who’s as big as Deontay, who’s a high-character guy, who did four years in the Navy, who was a professional athlete [on NFL practice squads] and a standout athlete at USC. So you know the guy’s an athlete and he’s got nothing to lose. He could come in there, loosey-goosey, and try to use his size and athletic ability, and see what he can pull out of his hat.”

Most media and fans are overlooking Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), but DiBella insists he won’t breathe easy until the Wilder-Washington fight is over.

“People have been calling me and asking, ‘What’s next? What’s next?’ Gerald Washington is next,” DiBella said. “I really am not sitting here and acting like this is a fait accompli. To be honest, I didn’t see any risk in Wawrzyk. But I see risk here.”

That said, DiBella does expect Wilder to win in his return from the aforementioned surgeries 6½ months ago. Wilder suffered those injuries during a technical knockout victory over Chris Arreola () on July 16 in Birmingham.

The 31-year-old Wilder, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, realizes that heavyweight championship unification fights hinge on him beating Washington. Even though his opponent changed midway through this training camp and he spent eight days in New York to attend the civil trial for his breach-of-contract lawsuit against Alexander Povetkin and promoter Andrey Ryabinsky, DiBella believes Wilder is taking Washington as a serious threat.

“Here’s why I feel OK about it – because I don’t feel Deontay’s sleeping on him,” DiBella said. “But I’ll be happier about this when we’re talking after it’s over. Even if Deontay knocks him out and looks sensational, I just think a guy like this brings a challenge. He’s an athlete and a big, physical specimen who’s a strong-ass man. And he has nothing to lose, and everything to gain. He hits the lottery if he wins.”

Wilder-Washington will headline FOX’s tripleheader from Legacy Arena.

FOX also will televise a 12-round bout between Detroit’s Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) and Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, for the vacant IBF junior middleweight title. In another televised fight Saturday night, Polish heavyweight prospect Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs) is set to meet Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs), of Eastvale, California, in a 10-rounder.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 02-24-2017

Wilder is funny to watch, entertaining, he is hw -Berto. He struggles with every fighter that can punch. Look at his face after Duhaupas fight..

Comment by Sid-Knee on 02-23-2017

[QUOTE=Boxing Truth;17446809]Povetkin Wlad Pulev All are eastern euro and right now the top 5 heavies along with fury & Joshua.[/QUOTE] Povetkin is finished after all this doping he's been doing. Wlad will retire if he loses to AJ. And Pulev…

Comment by Boxing Truth on 02-23-2017

[QUOTE=Sid-Knee;17445419]Wait, Fury and Joshua are not eastern euro. And they're the fighters who are on top.[/QUOTE] Povetkin Wlad Pulev All are eastern euro and right now the top 5 heavies along with fury & Joshua.

Comment by Boxing Truth on 02-23-2017

[QUOTE=Freedom.;17444957]Yes, Washington is a better bum than Wawrzyk. When will Wilder fight a top ten contender?[/QUOTE] The cash out fight will be sometime vs Joshua until then they are protecting him like fine china. They know they sucked in enough…

Comment by BoxAztinca on 02-23-2017

[QUOTE=johnnycontrolet;17444545]Ridiculous try to hype a huge mismatch - expect low ratings on FOX[/QUOTE] This fight sucks, but the Co main between Harrison and Hurd, is a hardcore fans dream fight. Just like Jrock and Charlo

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (46)
Top Headlines Samuel Clarkson vs. Ryad Merhy in Charleroi, Belgium David Benavidez Back in Action on Spence vs. Garcia Card De La Hoya: I Built Golden Boy, White Had Fertittas To Build UFC Canelo: I'll Return To 160, But We Can Do Fights Between 160-168 Photos: Katie Taylor, Eva Wahlstrom - On Point For Showdown Photos: Tevin Farmer, Francisco Fonseca - Ready For Title Clash Photos: Canelo, Rocky Fielding - Ready For Battle at MSG Canelo-Fielding Weigh-In Results From Madison Square Garden Bradley Skeete Will Now Headline ESPN+ Card From Brentwood Dehydrated Lemieux Hospitalized, Won't Fight Tureano Johnson Brett Yormark Leads New Advisory Board For Haymon Sports Photos: Manny Pacquiao Raising His Intensity Level in Camp News: Jason Welborn, Zachary Ochoa, Bowen-Clark, Yarde, More De La Hoya: This Fight Can Be Very Dangerous For Canelo Mauricio Herrera Aims To "Mentally" Break Sadam Ali Deontay Wilder: I've Had Seven Surgeries on My Arm Charlo: Sooner or Later, Canelo & GGG Have To Answer To Me! Canelo vs. Fielding Nearly Got Derailed By Passport Mix-Up Genesis Servania Would Love Another Crack at Oscar Valdez UK News: Sunny Edwards, Foley vs. Brown, Joseph Roswell Khan Smiles: I Would Have Stopped Kell Brook in Six Rounds One Fight In, Is Canelo's Contract Already Problem For DAZN? Luther Clay Looking to Step Up in Competition in 2019 Vincent Feigenbutz Out of WBO Eliminator For Ramirez Shot? De La Hoya: I Strongly Believe Canelo Will KO Golovkin in Trilogy Video: Hearn Talks Canelo-Jacobs, Joshua, Wilder, Fury, More Video: Canelo Alvarez Sits Down To Discuss Rocky Fielding Clash Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Flores Ready For Battle Charlo, Harrison Support Communities Before Title Clash De La Hoya To White: Let's Get in The Ring on Cinco De Mayo! De La Hoya Concerned With Size Difference in Canelo-Fielding Joshua Throws Water at Tyson Fury's Lineal Champion Claim Photos: Gilberto Ramirez, Jesse Hart - Ready For War in Texas Canelo & Fielding Believe They'll Be 5 Or 6 Pounds Apart Canelo Tells Golovkin To Be a Man: Accept That Loss! Joshua: Wilder is More Interested in Fury - He Has NO Titles! Dana White: De La Hoya is a Liar, No Facts - I Want Drug Tests! Photos: Canelo, Fielding - Go Face To Face at Final Presser News: Ray Ximenez, Aslambek Idigov, Ruben Villa, More Photos: Pacquiao Sparring Hard For Adrien Broner Showdown

Latest Active Forum Threads