Heavyweight Gerald Washington started his boxing career with 16 consecutive victories, including 11 stoppages. Given his size (6-foot-6) and athletic background (he played tight end and linebacker at USC) he is a definite new force in the division.
Washington didn’t begin his boxing career until he turned 30 years old, making his unblemished record remarkable. With Deontay Wilder waiting in the wings, the domestic Heavyweight division is becoming very interesting.
A onetime Navy helicopter pilot, Washington (16-0, 11 KOs) will try to remain perfect when he takes on arguably his toughest opponent to date in Amir Mansour (22-1, 16 KOs). The scheduled 10-round showdown from Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington.
The 33-year-old Washington, who kicked off his career with consecutive first-round knockouts a month apart in the summer of 2012, has been idle since scoring a one-sided unanimous-decision victory over journeyman Jason Gavern in March. That eight-round contest matched the longest fight of his career.
While Washington’s record is clean, Mansour has one loss to his name, a closely contested unanimous-decision setback to Steve Cunningham in April 2014, a bout in which both heavyweights scored a knockdown.
Since then, the 43-year-old Wilmington, Delaware, native has rebounded with two victories: a knockout of Fred Kassi in November and a unanimous-decision triumph over Joey Dawejko in May.
This time around, the 6-foot-1 Mansour will be squaring off opposite an opponent who is 10 years younger and who has significant advantages in both height (five inches) and reach (eight inches). Not that he’s at all concerned.
“Gerald Washington has not even come close to fighting someone of my caliber,” said Mansour, who was born in Salem, New Jersey, and now fights out of nearby Wilmington, Delaware. “He has zero advantage except for height, and I’m experienced enough to take that away.
“The match against me is going to introduce Washington to an entirely new world of fighting, and I’m sure he isn’t prepared for this type of fight.”
Naturally, his opponent has a different take on things.
“This is my time to make a statement,” said Washington, a native of San Jose California. “I will make an example of Amir Mansour to let the heavyweight division know that there’s a new sheriff in town. No more ‘Mr. Nice Guy’—it’s time for me to bring the pain!”
Premier Boxing Champions "Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays" card airs tonight on Fox Sports 1 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.