It was not that long ago that Gerald Washington was an unbeaten boxer with a chance at heavyweight title glory.
Following Saturday, however, the Burbank-trained fighter has lost two straight, both via stoppage.
Washington, who trains at Pullman’s Gym in Burbank, was stopped by Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in New York when Washington’s trainer John Pullman stopped the bout following the eighth round of the 10-round tilt.
"I definitely felt the ring rust," Miller, 29, said after the bout. "Gerald was very tough. It was a very good fight that had me thinking. My power was there, but I couldn't put it together the way I wanted to. I took the hard way back coming in off of a layoff. Gerald definitely pushed me and motivated me. I had to rely on my brain and my power."
The bout was part of the Showtime Mikey Garcia-Adrian Broner undercard and streamed live on the Showtime website.
The 35-year-old Washington (18-2-1, 12 knockouts) was dealt his first career loss in his previous bout, a fifth-round technical knockout loss to champion Deontay Wilder for the World Boxing Council title in February.
Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) won his eighth straight fight via stoppage.
The 6-foot-4 Miller, seen by most as an interesting prospect in the division despite having sat out roughly 11 months due to a promotional dispute, tipped the scales at 298 pounds, while the 6-6 Washington came in at 248 pounds.
The Burbank Leader, along with multiple boxing sites, had the fight scored 79-73 before the stoppage.
Washington worked behind a good left jab, some pushing and occasional right crosses to maintain distance and win the opening round. He carried that approach successfully into the first minute of the second round before Miller became the aggressor with an impressive display of punch output despite his size.
Using an occasional stiff left jab but primarily power punches with a left hook and right cross, Miller pressed forward, pounding on Washington in flurries, including a great 10-punch combo in the second in which three punches landed solidly.
Washington was game and maintained his approach, but Miller was relentless, wading through Washington’s punches to land more of his own that were clearly more powerful and taking a toll on Washington, who was Miller’s stiffest competition to date.
Miller’s assault began going to the body steadily in the third round and he began sprinkling in uppercuts.
A former kickboxer, Miller offered a rather diverse offense as the fight wore on. He went high and low, began using his jab more often, used right crosses and left hooks, uppercuts, occasional right jabs and also used an imposing forearm to push forward.
In the fifth, with Washington still game, the punches truly looked to take effect and wear down Washington, a former football player.
Mounting a final great stand, Washington came out in the sixth round phenomenally. He pumped his jab and then began following it with great right crosses and employing occasional left hooks. But just before the midway point of the round, Miller began to take back momentum and the weary Washington offered little in reply.
The ringside doctor took an extended look at Washington after the sixth.
Washington actually landed some good shot in the final seconds of the eighth round, but after its conclusion, the fight, which realistically could’ve been stopped around the sixth stanza, was waved off.