WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) has to come from behind to beat a surprisingly good #8 WBC Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) by a 5th round TKO on Saturday night at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham. Alabama. Wilder kept his offensive weapons under wraps until the 5th round when he hurt Washington with a devastating right hand to the head.
Wilder landed a follow up left hand immediately after the right to put Washington down hard on the canvas in a heap. Washington got up after the knockdown, but was defenseless as Wilder finished him off. Referee Mike Griffin stopped the match before Wilder could knock Washington down again. The time of the stoppage was at 1:45 of the round.
Wilder’s right and power is for real. It’s unfortunate that it took Wilder until the 5th round for him to finally land his right hand. I wish I could say that Wilder fought poorly on purpose, but I can’t. I think Wilder was uncomfortable with the size of Washington and his powerful jab. Washington was able to land his jab frequently in the first three rounds of the fight. It wasn’t until round 4 that Wilder landed a few power shots, He looked annoyed by that point in the fight, as he was giving rounds to Washington not attacking him the way he normally does against his opponents. Washington’s body language changed completely after Wilder hit him with a couple of shots in the 4th. Washington went from being aggressive to that of a timid challenger. Wilder looked more at home once Washington stopped coming forward.
Wilder cornered Washington in the 5th round and landed a perfect right-left combination that knocked him down. Washington hurt and in shock when he got to his feet. Wilder jumped on Washington when the action resumed, as he landed some nice shots that caused the fight to be halted by referee Mike Griffin. Washington was lucky the referee stopped the fight, because Wilder surely would have knocked him out in the clinical fashion if the fight was allowed to play out to the logical conclusion.
Undefeated Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) stopped #2 IBF Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs) in round 9 to win the vacant IBF junior middleweight title. Hurd flattened Harrison with a right hand. The ending of the fight was a little confusing, because the referee stopped the fight despite Harrison seemingly letting him know that he wanted to continue. The referee stopped fight after Harrison spit out his mouthpiece after he got back to his feet. The fight was stopped at 2:24 of the 9th.
Harrison was pretty hurt and likely would have been finished off quickly by Hurd if the fight were allowed to keep going. Harrison had been hurt badly in rounds 7, 8 and 9.
Harrison was controlling the fight in rounds one through six. Hurd took over the fight starting in the 7th, when he landed a right hand that almost dropped Harrison.
It was a good fight. Hurd showed that he could come back after getting worked over by Harrison in the first six rounds.
In the most exciting fight of the night, heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) beat Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-1, 14 KO) by a 5h round knockout. Breazeale knocked Ugonoh down twice in round 5 to get the stoppage. Ugonoh looked more tired than anything. His heavily muscular physique wasn’t able to keep up with the fast pace of the fight, as Breazeale was constantly forcing him to fight hard. Ugonoh had never had to fight in this manner in his previous fights as a pro.
Breazeale knocked Ugonoh down in the 3rd round. In the 4th, Ugonoh returned the favor in dropping Breazeale. Near the end of the round, Breazeale hurt Ugonoh with a kidney punch that had him down after the round ended. At the start of the 5th, Ugonoh was no longer throwing punches, and Breazeale sensed that he was hurt, as he tore into him in dropping him twice in the round. The fight was stopped after the second knockdown of the round.