Unbeaten WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s next fight will be against Gerald Washington in Birmingham, Alabama on February 25.
The 34-year-old Washington steps into the breach to fight his fellow American after Wilder's scheduled opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance.
A U.S Navy veteran and former college American football player for the University of Southern California, Washington has 18 wins [12 knockouts] and one draw from his 19 fights as a pro.
Wilder, who is unbeaten in 37 fights with 36 knockouts, could be a possible future opponent for IBF world champion Anthony Joshua but first, he will need to get the better of Washington.
"I was disappointed when Wawrzyk tested positive for a banned substance and wasn't available to fight," said Wilder.
"I didn't want to disappoint my loyal fans in Birmingham, who have always supported me. I'm glad Gerald Washington stepped up to the challenge and allowed us to go forward with the show.
"He's a tall heavyweight (6-foot-6) with a good jab and the kind of test that I need coming back from surgery on my biceps muscle and my right hand. I'm looking forward to putting on a good show for all my fans.''
Washington is excited about the prospect of fighting for a world title and said: "I know that I'll be fighting Deontay Wilder in his backyard, but that adds more excitement to the fight for me.
"I'm looking forward to going to Birmingham and coming away with a victory just like I did in my last fight there [against Ray Austin]."
Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment said: "In this case, losing an opponent has resulted in a much better match-up for fight fans.
"Gerald Washington, one of the highest rated American heavyweights, is a huge man and a physical specimen."