Wilder overwhelms Washington in the fifth
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over previously unbeaten Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
It was competitive while it lasted but Wilder's tremendous power in his right hand was the difference and handed the American his fifth successful world title defence.
Washington, who was a replacement opponent for Wilder because original challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance in January, used his jab well and was doing a good job of avoiding the champion's punches.
The challenger was landing the better shots until Wilder landed a crushing right, followed by a left, which sent his countryman crashing to the canvas.
Washington beat the count but he was on shaky legs as Wilder unloaded a barrage of punches before referee Mike Griffin stopped the fight at 1:45 of the fifth.
"I knew he was going to come in excited to fight for a world title," said Wilder. "I just kept calm and found my rhythm. I knew he was going to tire out, and when he did I took advantage. It was all about timing. I'm very smart in the ring when it comes to using different tactics in the ring."
Next Wilder looks set for a unification bout with WBO champion Joseph Parker, who was at ringside.
New Zealand's Parker first has to come through his mandatory defence against Britain's Hughie Fury on April 1 in Auckland.
"I'm ready for Joseph Parker, but is he ready for me?" said Wilder. "I did my business. Now it's time for him to do his."
Also on the card, Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) knocked down and stopped fellow American Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs) in the ninth round to win the vacant IBF light middleweight title.
Hurd was landing the harder shots but Harrison always fired back before Hurd dropped him with a right to the jaw in the ninth.
Harrison got back to his feet but he was too hurt to continue as he spat out his mouthpiece, and referee Jim Korb waved off the bout at 2:24 of the round.