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Deontay Wilder Says He Feels 100 Percent Heading Into Gerald Washington Fight

Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions
Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions

Deontay Wilder’s seven month recovery and training period will culminate with a return to the ring on February 25 with a bout against Gerald Washington.

Wilder, the WBC Heavyweight Champion, last fought and defended his title on July 16 against Chris Arreola, but he suffered a broken hand and torn bicep in the eighth-round stoppage. The fighter underwent surgery immediately after the fight and spent the rest of the year recovering. By December, Wilder had been cleared and began training again.

The next challenger was supposed to be Andrzej Wawrzyk but the challenger tested positive for a banned substance in January. That left Wilder’s camp to find a new opponent for this February fight, which became the undefeated Washington.

“Gerald Washington is a big guy I’ve seen fight a few times,” Wilder said during a press conference in New York City this week. “I don’t think he’s ready to fight me, but he thinks he is. We’ll find out on February 25. I chose him because he’s always been respectful while always wanting the opportunity. He’s going to come ready to fight.”

The two will meet at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, and it will be the first opportunity for Wilder to test is right hand.

“I definitely feel 100 percent, but we’ll see what it’s going to feel like in the ring when I apply this force to a human skull. When I’m in the gym doing work, I feel great.

“I never really let my hand properly heal until this injury, because the bicep takes longer to heal than the hand. The time gave me an opportunity to really improve my left hand. I feel more polished now than I’ve ever been.”

The Wilder-Washington fight will be shown in primetime on FOX with coverage beginning at 7 PM.

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