Gerald Washington knew he brought unassailable assets into Tuesday’s heavyweight tilt against Amir Mansour in the form of a massive five-inch height advantage, a 25-pound weight advantage, a chasm-wide eight-inch reach advantage, and just for good measure, a 10-year youth advantage.
The plan was, obviously, to play to those strengths and keep the smaller man on the outside. It worked to a T—for half of the fight.
Amir Mansour (22-1-1, 16 KOs) finally was able to break through inside and unleash a high-volume attack to start tilting the fight back the other way, ultimately doing enough to earn a split draw (97-93, 94-96 and 95-95) at Little Creek Resort Casino in Shelton, Washington, over an irate Gerald Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs).
“I felt like I won the majority of the rounds,” Washington said. “I was schooling him. He couldn’t land any big shots on me at all. He was just swinging for the fences and he was coming up short every time. I was clipping this guy all night long. It was a terrible decision.”
The 6-foot-6-inch Washington was crisp and effective in the early going. His jab had Mansour flustered, and any time the smaller man came in, he ate a counter for his trouble. Composed and feeling in control, Washington was smiling and talking to his foe.
A textbook uppercut in the fourth round left Mansour bloodied, and it looked like just the opening Washington needed to start doing significant damage. Instead, he opted to stick strictly to the plan to keep Mansour on the outside.
“I was just boxing smart,” Washington said. “I saw that I hurt him a couple of times. I should have stepped up on the gas, pushed it a little more right there, but I was being a little more conservative.”
In the fifth, Mansour stepped it up and pressed even harder, firing away with some nasty body shots. Washington started to fight a more defensive game, covering frequently in the sixth and seventh before coming out of his shell and eventually getting back to the original game plan in the final two frames.
“I knew he was going to be like that,” Washington said. “He couldn’t land anything. He was just swinging wild for the fences. He didn’t have any real skill.
“I had all the opportunities and I didn’t finish it the way I should have. I need to step up more and just be more aggressive, but still smart. Everybody knows I won the fight. I just take it as a learning lesson. No more Mr. Nice Guy.”
Elbiali, Hunter cruise to undercard wins
Ahmed Elbiali (13-0, 11 KOs) entered his showdown with Mariano Hilario (12-3, 5 KOs) as a knockout artist who had never seen the seventh round. He left with just his second decision, and his first trip to the eighth as he easily handled Hilario behind an almost all-power-punch assault that failed to register a knockdown, but had Hilario severely wobbling by the final two stanzas.
In opening action, unbeaten prospect Michael Hunter (10-0, 7 KOs) put Jason Douglas (11-6, 4 KOs) on the ground four times en route to a fourth-round stoppage when the ring doctor advised referee Jack Reiss not to allow Douglas to answer the bell in the fifth.
For complete coverage of Washington vs Mansour, visit our fight page.