Washington warns Wilder to take him seriously

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Gerald Washington has warned Deontay Wilder to take him seriously in their heavyweight title fight this month.

Washington will challenge Wilder for his WBC belt on February 25 after original opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk failed a drugs test.

The 34-year-old will be a significant underdog despite an unbeaten record to which the only blemish is a draw with Amir Mansour in October 2015.

Wilder boasts a 37-0 record, with 36 of his victories coming by knockout, and has made no secret of his desire for unification bouts with Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua - who takes on Wladimir Klitschko in a fight for the WBA, IBO and IBF straps in April.

But Washington is full of confidence he can rob Wilder of his belt, saying: "If Deontay showboats in the ring with me, I'm going to hit him in his mouth.

"Deontay better take me seriously, because I am real and I'm coming.

"I have so much to fight for and to push me and drive me towards my goal. If I focus on those things, it'll give me everything I need to keep pushing forward.

"I'm not worried about Deontay's knockouts. I'm going to take care of my business. I know what my job is and what my goal is. I'm putting my head down and getting to work.

"This fight came at the perfect time for us.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to compete. We're always ready. This is our life and we love to be here. We have more than a puncher's chance. We do a lot of different training, drills and mental work to get ready for this fight.

"Deontay has his opinion on if I'm ready, but everyone has certain tests in life they have to pass. I'm ready to test myself against the best."