Deontay Wilder
Jan 16, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Deontay Wilder celebrates after knocking out Artur Szpilka in the ninth round of their heavyweight title boxing fight at Barclays Center. Wilder defeated Szpilka via ninth round knockout. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Reigning WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder makes his 2017 debut to defend his title against undefeated slugger Gerald Washington.

Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KO’s) hasn’t fought since July of 2016, when he worked through a torn right bicep and broken hand to stop Chris Arreola in eight rounds. It was his fourth-straight win inside the distance since winning the WBC world heavyweight championship two years ago.

 RELATED: Anthony Joshua unimpressed with Wilder's resume 

The man who will be across the ring from Wilder Saturday night is Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KO’s), a former football standout at Southern Cal. Washington turned professional in 2012, at age of 30, and has quickly moved through the ranks.

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Wilder was originally set to fight Andrzej Wawrzyk before the Polish fighter tested positive for a banned substance last month.

The odds suggest Wilder will walk through Washington, but it will be interesting to see how much power will be on display from his now-healed right hand. Wilder is known for ending fights in a hurry, but he could choose to box Washington.

As for Washington, his chance of pulling the upset depends on whether or not he can dictate the action early and make Wilder uncomfortable right from the opening bell. We’ve yet to see anyone do that in 37 fights against “The Bronze Bomber” but the 34-year old – who’s never been knocked down – could steal some rounds and make this a more competitive fight than oddsmakers indicate.

Fight odds and info

Deontay Wilder (-2000) vs Gerald Washington (+1000)

Date: Saturday, February 25th

Venue, Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, AL

Time: 9:00pm EST

TV: FOX (Check Local Listings)

Prediction

Wilder’s skill set is just on a much higher level than Washington’s. This fight may not be a complete mismatch, but expect it to go the distance in favor of the Champ. Deontay Wilder takes a clear unanimous decision.

 SEE ALSO: Roy Jones Jr. calls out Anderson Silva; fans react 


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