Deontay Wilder has a replacement opponent has been announced.
Gerald Washington, who is 18-0-1 as a professional with 12 KOs, will be replacing Andrzej Wawrzyk after Wawrzyk failed a drug test for the banned steroid stanozolol and was therefore taken out of his fight against Wilder where Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight title was going to be on the line.
Talking to ESPN on January 30 when the announcement was made, Washington said he expects to beat Wilder in front of Wilder’s home fans.
"I'm very happy to get this opportunity to fight for my first world championship,'' Washington said. "I know that I'll be fighting Deontay Wilder in his backyard, but that adds more excitement to the fight for me. I'm looking forward to going to Birmingham and coming away with a victory just like I did in my last fight there.''
Washington last beat former heavyweight title challenger Ray Austin last July.
Wilder said he is pleased to have an opponent accept the last-minute challenge so that Wilder can still have a fight.
"I was disappointed when Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance and wasn't available to fight," Wilder said. "I didn't want to disappoint my loyal fans in Birmingham, who have always supported me,'' said Wilder, who will be making his fifth title defense. "I'm glad Gerald Washington stepped up to the challenge and allowed us to go forward with the show. He's a tall heavyweight (6-foot-6) with a good jab and the kind of test that I need coming back from surgery on my biceps muscle and my right hand. I'm looking forward to putting on a good show for all my fans.''
Wilder and Washington will fight in Birmingham, Alabama on February 25. That fight will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card that will be televised on Fox and Fox Deportes.