WBC heavyweight title challenger Gerald Washington has backed former top division king Tyson Fury to make a successful return to action – if the Briton wishes to do so.
Washington is less than a week away from the biggest night of his life when the big American challenges compatriot Deontay Wilder for the green and gold belt after agreeing to step in for original opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk.
The Pole tested positive as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program, handing Washington an impromptu chance to snag the title from undefeated Wilder in Alabama.
Fury’s decision to retire after his win over Wladimir Klitschko has fully opened up the division and offered more opportunities to the fringe contenders and Washington is hopeful we’ll see the 28 year-old back punching soon.
“I love Tyson Fury, man. All the credit to him for his victory. He’s the one that beat the real champion,” Washington exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Congratulations to him on an amazing victory. I know he put himself in a bad position right now, but he still has a brain and the skills to fight. If he can whip himself back into shape, I’d love to see him give it another go.
“He’s the one that really did it (opened up the division), and if that’s what is in his heart (to leave on top), he said he was going to do what he wanted to do so if he wants to retire that way then so be it.
“If he does want to fight again then I’d like to see him back in the ring.
Asked his opinion on Tyson’s cousin Hughie facing Joseph Parker for one of his belts in the spring, Washington stated he’d be an interested spectator once the bout is finalized.
“It’s going to be a good fight but I think Joseph Parker is a lot faster. Hughie has things on his side as he has a lot of Tyson in him, so we’ll see how the styles mix when they collide.”
In a final message to the UK fans, ‘El Gallo Negro’ added: “I love my UK fans and I can’t wait to come over the with my belt to hopefully face some of the champions over there.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay