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Deontay Wilder, Jarrett Hurd, Gavin McDonnell In Major World Title Fights Tonight

The weekend's biggest show takes place tonight at Legacy Arena in the US city of Birmingham, where local icon and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder returns to the ring after a seven month absence.

Wilder, 37-0 (36), makes his comeback against relatively unknown contender Gerald Washington, 18-0-1 (12), after original opponent Andrzej Wawrzyk was struck off the bill.

The champion comes back from the longest layoff of his career, forced upon Wilder due to injuring his right hand and arm during a stoppage of Chris Arreola last July.

The 6'7 inch tall Tuscaloosa man will look to retain his belt for the fifth occasion and will be facing one of the taller opponents on his resume.

Washington, who hails from Vallejo, California is coming off three straight fights against name competition, drawing with Amir Mansour while defeating Eddie Chambers and Ray Austin.

The 34 year old will be stepping up from that level upon meeting Wilder and will need to show that he can take the champion's massive punching power if he is to have a chance at upsetting the apple cart in Birmingham.

Wilder must be careful in the contest and not suffer defensive lapses as he had in previous pairings against Eric Molina, Johann Duphaupas and especially against Artur Szpilka.

If Washington can handle Wilder's power and pressure the champion, he could have a chance, but that's a big if, as only Bermane Stiverne has finished on his feet against "The Bronze Bomber".

There's a clash for the IBF light middle strap on the undercard as contenders Jarrett Hurd, 19-0 (13), and Tony Harrison, 24-1 (20), square off for the title that Jermall Charlo vacated in order to move up in weight.

Hurd is coming off stoppages of Jo Jo Dan, Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina. Harrison recently stopped Siarhei Rabchanka and Fernando Guerrero while suffering his only loss at the hands of Willie Nelson in 2015.

This pairing could be the contest of the night, pitting two tall 26 year olds who can both fight and box with a world title going to the victor.

Over across the Atlantic, there's a big card at Ice Arena in the English city of Hull, where the vacant WBC super bantam crown will be fought over by Gavin McDonnell and Rey Vargas.

McDonnell, 16-0-2 (4), the twin brother of two-time bantamweight world champion Jamie McDonnell, meets Mexican slugger Vargas, 28-0 (22), in what should be a very tough bout for the Englishman.

The winner of this battle will likely be the man with the better stamina as McDonnell has an iron chin and also lacks a concussive punch, virtually guaranteeing a fight that goes the distance.

Will the prospect of having to face the scorecards in McDonnell's home ground give Vargas the impetus to look for one big punch all night in a make or break approach?

There's a good matchup in the chief support bout as Hull hero Luke Campbell, 15-1 (12), puts his WBC Silver lightweight belt on the line against Jairo Lopez, 21-6 (14).

Classy southpaw stylist Campbell might have to dig deep to get past seasoned scrapper Lopez, who travels outside of Mexico for the first time in his career.

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