By WVUA 23 Web Writer Tyler Tucker

Tuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder returned to action and successfully defended his WBC Heavyweight Championship belt on Saturday night in Birmingham, with a fifth round TKO. Challenger Gerald Washington, an athletic puncher from California, came into Saturday’s fight with something to prove. He held his own for the first three rounds, scoring higher on the cards, buying time and avoiding the knockout.

“Yeah, I felt it was going good, the action was going good. He threw a little something, I defended, I come back. I felt that I was taking the plays back. He was a little more patient than I was. Like I said, I got a little anxious,” Washington said.

When the action moved into the fifth round and with the hometown crowd at his back, Wilder’s brute strength and devastating 3-2 combination punches were too much for Washington to handle.

“When I did test the right, and him moving to his left, it was all timing. I even looked to my girls and go, ‘I’m about to get him. I’m about to get him.’ And you know I delivered,” Wilder said. Following the win, Wilder once again restated his desire to unite the belts: the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Organization and the International Boxing Federation.

Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas explained, “Deontay came through against Gerald Washington so he’s in the winners bracket. You got Joseph Parker fighting Hughie Fury, and then you got Klitschko fighting Anthony Joshua. Whoever those two winners are, that’s who we want. Whatever that biggest fight is. There will be three guys at the top, and we’re already there and want whoever’s next.”

Wilder’s victory over Washington tonight makes him 38-0, all but one of those victories coming by way of the knockout. Deontay Wilder now has the highest knockout percentage in the history of the heavyweight division.

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