Also nicknamed as El Gallo Negro (The Black Rooster), Gerald Marcus Washington is a 38-year-old American professional boxer who is known to have participated in the WBC heavyweight title back in 2017 and as of December 2016, is ranked number 10 by the World Boxing Council. With a boxing record of winning 20 out of his 25 fights, Washington is certainly someone to look out for.
Gerald Washington was born on April 23, 1982, to a father who is African American and a Mexican American mother. Although he was born in the United States, he partly spent some time of his childhood in Mexico with his family. Soon after, he served under the United States Navy and played the tight end as well as the defensive end for the University of Southern California. Moving on to the big leagues, he was part of the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills practise squad in the National Football League. Before his professional career as an American boxer, he has only lost twice out of thirteen fights he has participated in since 2005.
Around the age of 30 years old, Gerald Washington had his professional debut in 2012. During this time, he was able to knock out his first opponent, Eldon ‘Blue’ DeLong, at SAP Center in San Jose, California. Washington did not stop there for only a month after, he won against Gary Cobia after the first round with a TKO. The ball continued to roll in his favour during his third fight with Terrance Perro, a professional American boxer since 2010 from Denver, Colorado. Washington encountered his first decision win when after 4 rounds with only knocking out Perro once, the judges ruled in favour of him with scorecards of 40-34, 39-35 and 39-35.
With much training, hard work and dedication, Washington fought Sherman Williams, a 40-year-old veteran with a boxing record of 40 wins out of his 58 fights with 22 wins by KO, in June 2013. Ending with eight rounds, the judges made a unanimous decision victory in favour of Washington. In April 2014, he scored a knockout during the second round of Herman Skipp Scott. This fight soon turned into a controversy when some have noticed that Scott took a knee before being hit with a body shot with the stoppage at a minute and 40 seconds during the second round. Because of this issue, the team of Scott soon filed a protest to right the decision that has been made.
Now a professional heavyweight boxer, Travis Walker was another veteran that Gerald Washington had the opportunity to fight with. Similar to previous fights, this ended in the second round when Washington was able to stop Walker after a few hard power shots. With Travis Walker not being able to get back up, the referee then decided to wave the fight off, of course, with Washington as the winner. He fought his first 8-round fight two months after with opponent Nagy Aguilera, a 28-year-old Dominican boxer. Even with numerous rounds, Washington still managed to win with scorecards that held 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75.
During the early months of the year 2015, Gerald Washington had another 8-round distance with Jason Gavern and to no surprise, still won against his opponent with a unanimous decision. After continuous training, Washington had his next fight with Amir Mansour, a heavyweight fighter who started his professional debut in boxing in 1997. After a 10-round draw, it seemed that Washington’s luck began to change when he was described as “running away” from his contender, Mansour. The crowd began booing during the latter part of the fight when Amir Mansour had the ability to land numerous body shots that almost knocked Washington down.
On the 30th of April 2016, Gerald Washington had one of his most famous fights with former world title contender, Eddie Chambers. Because of adamant and consistent training, Washington was able to throw three times the amount of punches he would usually do which shortened the expected 10-round fight to 8 rounds. To no one’s surprise, Washington was handed the winners belt with a unanimous decision from the judges with scores of 79-73, 80-72 and 80-72.
Gerald Washington wasted no time and effort as he was set to fight Ray Austin, a 47-year-old American boxer who fought for IBF and IBO heavyweight titles back in the year of 2007. The Legacy Arena in Alabama was jam-packed and the audience was found cheering when the fight lasted for 4 rounds with Washington knocking out Austin on his back because of a number of punches that followed a straight right.
After taking a couple of months of rest and, of course, training in between them, Gerald Washington was the frontrunner to land a fight with Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion last January 2017. This opportunity was very meaningful to Washington as he decided to release a statement on how this was a game-changer for him and his career: “I’m very happy to get this opportunity to fight for my first world championship. I know that I’ll be fighting Deontay Wilder in his backyard, but that adds more excitement… I’m looking forward to going to Birmingham (Alabama) and coming away with a victory just like I did in my last fight there. (Pertaining to his fight with American boxer, Ray Austin)
Unfortunately, during the 5th round of the fight, Wilder was able to grab a hold of Washington as he was pushed to the ropes which gave Wilder a chance to throw in a combination of power shots. With Wilder’s last hit that landed on Washington’s head, Washington stood back up with shaking legs. Even as the fight continued, it was deemed evident that Washington was not ready for Deontay Wilder’s skills and experience. “I just got a little impatient. I was trying to go for it. It was an even boxing match. I could have kept it like that and kept it boring. I don’t know why I fell asleep there. I guess I lost a little focus.”, Washington said during an interview after the fight. With fans from all over the world, the match was said to have around 1.86 million viewers at its peak and was the most-watched boxing match in America for the year 2017.
On the 29th of July that same year, Jarrell Miller was the next opponent to fight with Washington at Barclays Center in New York City. With Miller trash-talking Washington in their face-to-face weight in as well as Miller throwing his cap towards Washington afterwards, the audience knew this fight would be a little bit different than the rest of Washington’s past experiences.
After 8 rounds of professional boxing, Miller was soon able to take the reigns as he landed continuous power shots. Although both fighters seemed tired at the end of the fight, Washington encountered his second stoppage loss to Jarell Miller who fought for the first time after an 11 month break. In June 2018, Washington made his comeback when he fought with a 32-year-old veteran, Jon Wesley No fire. Given that the fight was described as a constant back and forth, Washington was still able to land big shots and was able to take the lead on his opponent. With scorecards resulting in 98-91, 97-92 and 97-92, Washington was able to make a remarkable return after his 2-fight losing streak.
With two fights in 2019 against Adam Kownacki and Robert Helenius, and one in 2020 against Charles Martin that resulted in a win and two loses for Washington, this American fighter looks like he doesn’t intend to quit anytime soon.