By Ryan Burton
Heavyweight contender Gerald "El Gallo Negro" Washington (18-1-1) was very impressive early on in his February fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. In fact he had won the first four rounds before getting caught and stopped in the fifth.
The Northern California native will return to the ring on July 29th when he faces another unbeaten fighter in Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (18-0-1) in Brooklyn, New York on the Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner undercard.
Washington's trainer John Pullman believes the clash is coming at the perfect time.
"It's funny because how the fight came about - Gerald's manager called me - and asked me if we would be willing to fight this guy on this date and I said absolutely," Pullman told BoxingScene.com.
"It's funny because I was talking to this reporter who was asking me who I wanted next for Gerald and he's one do the names I mentioned because he is pretty charismatic and he has a decent little buzz about him. He is ranked by most of the organizations and Gerald is coming off of a world title challenge in his last fight and his first loss. This is actually a good meter to see where we are at and where we are going to go from here so I love the fight. We don't really like soft opposition and I don't consider him soft opposition. I consider him a real challenge and it is a real fight. It is the type of fight we need if Gerald wants to be successful in boxing."
The trainer also expects his fighter to be much improved coming off of the loss to Wilder. He believes that skills wise, his fighter can hang with the elite in the division but that the experience he gained in the fight will be invaluable.
Washington is a former college football player and came to the sport later in life than most professional fighters. Pullman believes that we will see the improvements in his charge on July 29th.
"He learned so much. Having a fight like that, just being in that big moment, because skill wise I always knew Gerald would do well with the top guys like Wilder. Boxing skill wise I know he is right there. Just experience and being in a big moment like that was foreign to him. His mind was on edge, his adrenaline was on edge, it was hard to control his energy. I saw that his mind was wilting a little bit throughout the fight. It wasn't a strenuous fight or anything but the moment was big and he was trying so hard to be perfect and I could see the alarms going off so I tried to explain to him that he needs to calm down and focus and relax and try so hard. St not as hard as he thinks. But going through that moment is like having 10 regular fights or more. That experience is invaluable so the next time you see Gerald fight you are going to see a different fight," Pullman explained.
Being a Brooklyn native, Miller will have the home court advantage but Pullman insists that they aren't worried about that. He doesn't believe it is possible for Miller to have anywhere near the amount of fans that Wilder packed into the Legacy Arena in Birmingham for their fight.
"It's a home fight for him but it's fine. At the end of the day it is just the two of them in the ring and I can guarantee he isn't going to have fans like Wilder had and Gerald pretty much shut them up the first 4 and half rounds just by boxing right. I think Wilder having all that experience - his poise was really good. Even though Gerald was in control he never panicked. Jarrell Miller on the other hand is a different caliber of fighter as far as I am concerned. He is more of an emotional guy. He is really hungry and thirsty. He is not as poised. I just see a totally different fight playing out," said Pullman
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