Undefeated heavyweight Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (18-0-1, 12 KO) takes on the biggest challenge of his career this Saturday night against WBC champion & knockout artist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (37-0, 36 KO).
A Vallejo native & former football player at the University of Southern California, Washington will look to overcome huge odds (+800 per bovada.lv) as the fight takes place in Wilder’s home state of Alabama. The reigning champ is coming off a right hand/biceps injury suffered in his bout against Chris Arreola, & will look to regain his form in what many regard as a tune-up fight.
Washington, however, does pose a unique threat to the 6-foot-7 Wilder, who has grown accustomed to towering over his opponents. Standing 6-foot-5 with an 80-inch reach, the 34 year-old fares quite well in the tale of the tape. If he can find a home for his powerful right hand, Washington might just bring home a heavyweight title.
Daniel Cormier was awarded the UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night at UFC 220 after his loss to Jon Jones was overturned when Jones failed a prefight drug test. Cormier said leading up to the fight that he didn’t feel like a champion. He probably feels like one now.
The San Jose-based 205-pounder defeated No. 2-ranked Volkan Oezdemir by secon-round TKO to retain the title.
“I felt as if I was fighting for a vacant title because (Jones) beat me last time,” Cormier (20-1) said in a postfight interview referring to his loss last July.
“I fought for a vacant title and I got the job done so I’m the UFC champion again.”
Cormier, who turns 40 in March, nearly won the fight a round earlier. In the final minute of the first frame, Cormier landed a right hand flush on the challenger’s face. After securing a takedown and taking Oezdemir’s back, Cormier locked in a rear naked choke but was forced to relinquish the hold when the bell rang.
Oezdemir, 28, was given a second chance, but he couldn’t capitalize. Cormier dominated the second round from the beginning. The AKA-product once again took down Oezdemir, transitioned to a crucifix, and landed a barrage of shots until the referee called the fight at the 2:00 mark.
“He was so game. I knew he was a dangerous guy. He hit hard,” Cormier said of Oezdemir (15-2). “But once I was able to get him to the ground, I knew it was my world.”
And for now, the rest of the light heavyweight division is just living in it.
Oakland's own Andre "Son of God" Ward is calling it a career at 32-0. And plenty of noteable teams and icons showed the champ respect on Thursday...