GERALD WASHINGTON insists he’s ready for his short notice shot at Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title when they box on February 25 in Alabama.

“We’ve had a great training camp and I’m feeling good. We got the fight on short notice but we had been training for a while, so I’ll be prepared,” Washington said. “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.”

“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,” he continued. “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. Every fight I’ve had has prepared me for this moment. My fight against Amir Mansour was the turning point of my career. I learned some good lessons and I’m looking to have a great performance.

“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.

“‘I’ve worked hard from day one in the sport to get to where I am. I’ve had to learn my lessons and take my time to get to a point where I can be in a fight like this. I’m grateful for the process I’ve had to get here.”

Washington’s dream is to become a heavyweight champion. “My dream would be to fill-up the L.A. Coliseum. I’d love to fight as a heavyweight world champion there. That building has a lot of history. I want to bring my world title belt back to USC and put it there with all of those Heisman trophies. This will make my legacy there,” he said. “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.”

His trainer, John Pullman added, “This is an exciting opportunity. Everything had to play out perfectly for us to get this shot. You can’t argue with destiny. We didn’t expect it to happen like this, but our team culture is to always stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.

“The major separation between Deontay Wilder and Gerald is that Gerald is the smarter fighter. He knows how to adapt and it’s going to make a big difference in this fight.”

Pullman did not reveal their game plan but did say, “Gerald is going to win this fight. How he wins, I don’t like to say and put any unnecessary pressure on us. But all I can say is, he’s going to win.”