Ali Eren Demirezen has had a much more memorable trip to the United States than on previous occasions.
The 2016 Turkish Olympian scored the biggest victory of his professional career, beating Gerald Washington en route to an eighth-round stoppage. Demirezen overtook Washington’s long jab to impose his will by forcing the 12:27 am eighth round stop on Saturday night at Fox Sports Pay-Per-View at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The Fox Sports PPV show is run by top-rated contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27KOs) and former IBF titlist Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) in an IBF title eliminator.
Washington controlled the opening round largely with his long left jab. The 39-year-old heavyweight used his size and advantage while trying not to expend too much energy in his first fight in nearly two years and at a weight of almost 253.8 pounds. It didn’t quite work that way, as the veteran US Navy and former title challenger was already breathing hard by the end of the second round.
Demirezen came strong in the third round. The 2016 Olympian for Turkey, now based in Hamburg, took advantage of Washington’s reluctance to trade, stepping forward and catching the 6’6 “American with a right hand. Washington retreated to regain control. spirits but spent the remainder of the round on the defensive, Demirezen landed a three-hit combination that forced Washington to cover.
Former Hall of Fame champion and current top coach Buddy McGirt gave Washington an ear between rounds, asking them to hold on and fight. It didn’t always work out that way in the fourth round, as Demirezen overtook the Vallejo, Calif.-Based heavyweight in landed punches (20-10).
Things only got worse for Washington as the fight progressed. Demirezen took the lead in almost every rally, rejecting Washington’s jab – which had a lot less steam at this point – and landing almost at will in rounds seven and eight. Washington was almost on his feet, prompting McGirt to signal referee Frank Santore Jr. to stop the fight.
Washington falls to 20-5-1 (13KO), with the five losses on its last seven points and at a point in his career when there is simply nothing left.
Demirezen improves to 15-1 (12KOs), earning his fourth consecutive victory. The only loss of his career came in a decisive ten-round loss to then undefeated Efe Ajagba, at the time the first to force the Nigerian to show up for the scorecards.
The Fox Sports PPV show is run by top-rated contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27KOs) and former IBF titlist Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) in a title eliminator.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox