A game Mansour (22-1-1 16 KOs) pursued and rushed Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs) throughout the bout, working to bridge the distance on the long-limbed boxer, while Washington effectively used his long jab to keep the charging Mansour at bay.
But as fatigue set in for Washington during the second half of the contest, his jab shut down, his opponent’s attacks become more successful, and Mansour was able to climb back on the widely scored cards of 97-93 for Washington, 96-94 for Mansour, and 95-95.
Punchstats had Washington landing 108 punches out of 382 thrown, Mansour landed 99 punches out of 452.
“I think it’s a terrible decision,” Washington told Paulie Malignaggi during the post-fight interview. “I definitely won the fight, no doubt about it. I won the first four rounds. I rested up a little in the middle. I got my stuff back in the last three or four round. He wasn’t even touching me, he was chasing me around, he wasn’t landing any shots at all.”
The boys came out at the bell working at a brisk pace, with southpaw Mansour looking to get inside and work the body, while Washington used his jab to maintain distance and chucked looping rights.
The tempo settled down in the the second and third rounds. Mansour worked behind a pawing jab and continued the charging attacks, and Washington slowly circled the ring, kept his distance, worked his long jab, and threatened with his big right. Washington appeared to have Mansour on his back foot at times, but the veteran’s bullrushes kept the taller man safely back.
In the fourth installment Washington’s right hand came into play, finding its home on Mansour’s face and momentarily hurting him in the middle of the round.
A rejuvenated Mansour continued pressing on Washington into the fifth round, but the younger man was well in control at the time and Mansour could not find his away around the telephone pole jab.
Repeated left hands began landing for Mansour as he closed the distance early in the sixth round and he looked to take control. A good exchange in the middle of the ring finished out the round.
Washington began tiring as the fight moved on and quieted his jab during the seventh installment. Mansour capitalized on the lull and continued pushing his way inside and working the body. For the first time in the fight Mansour was in command.
Washington’s decline in work rate invigorated Mansour throughout the eighth round as he continued his drive into Washington, who was running out of steam and winging big shots.
The action slowed down going into the ninth round, with Mansour rushing and Washington trying to catch him with a Sunday punch and clinching.
The final round had Mansour on the pursuit behind a Washington who was on the move and, unfortunately, unwilling to exchange. But Mansour stayed on the hunt until the final second and it just wasn’t enough to carry the cards.
“He landed some good shots in there,” said Mansour after the fight. “But I landed most of the shots. I kept the fight active, I gave the crowd something that they wanted to see. That’s why they’re cheering me and they’re booing him.”
With the draw, the 43-year-old Amir Mansour, fighting out of Wilmington, Delaware, extends no-defeat streak to three since his loss to Steven Cunningham in April of 2014. Since then, his only career defeat, Mansour has kayo’d Fred Kassi and outpointed Joey Dawejko in his most recent outing. “Hardcore” Mansour hold wins over Kelvin Price, Epifanio Mendoza and Dominick Guinn.
Despite 33-year-old Gerald Washington holding on to his ‘0,’ and passing his biggest test to date, his performance may not go far in quieting boxing fans who point out that the former Olympian’s record has been built on palookas and sub-par opposition– the San Jose, California native’s most recent wins coming over travelling men Jason Gavern (26-18-4) and Mike Sheppard (22-17-1). But though Washington did not walk away from Tuesday’s encounter with a victory, he did take with him priceless experience and plenty to work on for his next ring appearance.
On the undercard: Olympian Michael Hunter (10-0, 7 KOs) stopped roughneck Jason Douglas (11-6, 4 KOs) in the fourth round of their scheduled 10-rounder; and Ahmed Elbiali (13-0, 11 KOs) outpointed Dominican Mariano Hilario (12-4, 5 KOs).
The fight was broadcast as part of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS series on FS1 and Fox Deportes.