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Washington in play as search for Wilder’s opponent down to three

Photo by Naoki Fukuda
26
Jan

The search for Deontay Wilder’s next opponent on Feb. 25 has been narrowed down to three contenders with Gerald Washington, a former helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Navy who played tight end at USC, appearing to separate himself, though no deal has been made and the situation remains fluid, a source told RingTV.com on Thursday.

Officials hope to finalize an agreement and announce the opponent by Saturday, the source said. Washington (18-0-1, 12 knockouts) was already in training to appear on the Feb. 25 card at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama on Fox. Andrzej Wawrzyk, who was set to face Wilder, flunked a random drug test administered by VADA, promoter Lou DiBella confirmed to RingTV.com on Tuesday night. According to ESPN.com, Wawrzyk tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol during the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program.

DiBella and Wilder longtime trainer/manager Jay Deas declined comment Thursday on the topic of Wilder’s next opponent. But Deas did say they are looking for someone who has similar attributes to the 6-5 Wawrzyk, who fights orthodox. “We’re not trying to find a 5-2 lefty,” Deas joked. Washington would seem to fit the bill. He is a 6-6 righty who fights in a methodical, patient style, similar to Wawrzyk, though Washington is more athletic and moves better.