By Keith Idec
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Gerald Washington’s trainer didn’t dispute the stoppage of Washington’s fifth-round technical knockout loss to Deontay Wilder on Saturday night.
Referee Michael Griffin stopped their fight at 1:45 of the fifth round, after Washington was hit with multiple flush left hooks by the hard-hitting Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs). Washington got up from a knockdown moments earlier, which was caused by Wilder’s crushing right hand, but clearly was hurt when Griffin stepped in to save him from more damage.
Right after Griffin stopped their scheduled 12-round fight at Legacy Arena, a wobbled Washington stumbled across the ring and needed the ropes to help keep him from falling to the canvas again.
“I knew he could’ve kept going,” said John Pullman, Washington’s trainer. “Maybe the stoppage was a little early for my taste, but I mean, the ref’s making a gut call. Deontay Wilder’s a devastating puncher. Everybody knows that. Gerald was not all there on his legs and he stopped the fight. I mean, you can’t really say nothing about it. And if Gerald didn’t make the mistake, he never gets caught. So it’s really our fault. It’s not the referee’s fault. The referee’s just doing his job.”
Pullman also doesn’t believe the fight taking place in Wilder’s home state of Alabama had anything to do with the stoppage or the way Washington had to fight to have a chance to win in the unlikely event their scheduled 12-round fight went to the scorecards. Washington was the more active fighter during the first four rounds, but Wilder was winning on one scorecard (39-37) and the fight was even on two scorecards (38-38) when the fight was stopped.
“I’m not trying to make an excuse because it’s in Alabama,” Pullman said. “I apologize if I came off that way. Gerald just wanted to beat the champ convincingly, because that’s what you have to do, right? So maybe he got a little impatient, he loaded up a little too much, a little too excited. And it’s a big moment. He wants to be so – he’s trying a little too hard. But I’ll bet you this – Gerald will be better for this. He didn’t get beat up. He got hit with like five punches. He’ll be back.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.