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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Patrick Washington
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Light Welterweight Champion Patrick Washington.

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Former WBF Intercontinental Light Welterweight Champion Patrick “Country Boy” Washington was by some considered one of the best kept secrets in American boxing when he was coming up as a young professional prospect in the mid to late nineties.

From a small Florida town called Greenville, population less than one-thousand and best known as the childhood home of R & B icon Ray Charles, Washington was born in March of 1969. He later moved with his family to Orlando, where he graduated from High-school and picked up boxing before enlisting in the army.

Unfortunately he didn’t live up to his full potential as a boxer, and many will claim that him winning the Intercontinental title barely scratched the surface of what he could have achieved. As is the case with so many boxers, he missed out on the right opportunities, despite having the talent to go all the way.

Washington boxed in the army as a Lightweight, representing Fort Bragg in North Carolina where he served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1992 he married girlfriend Dee, with whom he would later have two daughters.

On January 7, 1994, without much fanfare, a 24-year-old Washington made his professional debut on a small show in Decatur, Georgia, beating no-hoper Robert Woods (1-39). The two of them didn’t belong in the same ring, and Washington showed no mercy in scoring a first round stoppage.

A month later he followed up with another first round victory, this time over debutant Jim Henry in Sanford, North Carolina. Six weeks on in Forrest City he was taken into the third round by another first-timer, Billy Evans, before landing the finishing blows.

The Evans fight was one of the preliminary bouts of a card headlined by former WBF World Super Welterweight Champion Tommy Small, and with Heavyweight contender, and former WBF Intercontinental titlist, Melton Bowen also on the bill.

But more often than not, the shows where Washington saw action at the start of his career didn’t attract much attention outside the small towns they were staged in. The economics of the North and South Carolina circuit restricted the quality of opposition, but at least he kept fairly active while learning his trade.

Inside the first nine months of his paid career, Washington raced to a perfect 7-0 record, with six of his wins coming by stoppage. He had handled every challenge put in front of him with ease, and looked good doing so by displaying slickness, technique and power in both hands.

But five of his foes were entering their first pro fight, and the two others had a combined tally of 1-40, so it is fair to say that he had not yet been properly tested when he was matched against fellow prospect Leon Hinnant (2-0) in Raleigh on February 17, 1995.

Hinnant had not been tested either, and his two victories had come by first round knockout against poor opposition. So he was much in the same position as Washington, who turned out to be a level above and won the fight in two one-sided rounds.

Having passed his first small step up in competition with flying colors, Washington was finally handed a proper challenge on April 26, 1995. He was booked to fight the tough Harold Bennett (12-7-2) over twelve rounds in Raleigh, with the vacant WBF Intercontinental Light Welterweight title on the line.

Baby Face” Bennett had beaten another prospect, Marlon Thomas, a few years earlier, and fought contenders such as Aaron Davis, John Coward and Keith Holmes. Also, he had gone the distance with future WBO World Champion Michael Loewe in Germany, so his level of competition and experience was far superior to Washington´s.

But, in a time where most boxers enter the ring to Hip-Hop or Rock music, and seemingly not phased by the task at hand, Washington raised a few eyebrows when he made his ring-walk for what was his first main event and first championship fight.

Perfectly fitting his “Country Boy” moniker, he came out of the dressing room looking more like a farmer than a fighter, and with the tunes of John Denver blasting from the loud-speakers.

I was the main event of a card in Raleigh, and everyone was coming out to rap music”, Washington explained a few years ago. “So my manager at the time went and got a John Denver CD, overalls, a straw-hat and a big stick for me. People freaked out, shocked to see that I was a black man, coming to the ring like that.”

And Washington delivered in the ring that night, boxing very well for twelve rounds to score a clear unanimous decision over Bennett to become WBF Intercontinental Light Welterweight Champion in only his ninth professional outing.

It was a nice step in the right direction for him, but he still hadn’t managed to catch the eye of any of the major promoters in the sport. And without the support of one of the “big fish” it is always going to be hard to make a break-through in boxing.

In the next two years Washington stayed busy winning eleven fights, but none of his opponents were good enough to really test him. He beat decent trail-horses Clifford Hicks (14-23), Benji Singleton (15-24-1) and David Taylor (25-35-3), but those victories didn’t do much for his career.

Finally, in June of 1997, he was given a big opportunity to break onto the world scene when he was pitted against highly skilled Southpaw Corey “Primetime” Johnson (21-2-1) from Detroit in the main event of a show at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona.

Johnson was world class, and his two losses were against Stevie Johnston, who would go on the become a dominant WBC World Champion, and Kostya Tszyu in a challenge for the Russians IBF World title a year earlier. If Washington could beat Johnson, he could very well be close to a world title-shot himself.

Unfortunately Washington was not yet ready for someone of Johnson´s caliber. Iron sharpens Iron, as they say, and the victories over boxers not in his class had not prepared the now 28-year-old Floridian to take the next step up the ladder.

Now fighting as a Welterweight, Washington was knocked down in the sixth round, and twice more in the seventh before the bout was stopped and he had lost for the first time in the professional ranks. He would never lose again, but he would also never fight again, and he retired with a 20-1 (15) record.

The career-path of Patrick Washington is not a rare one. A boxer can have all the talent in the world, he can have everything it takes, but if the right opportunities are not there, and the right matchmaking is absent, talent alone will not get you all the way.

Still living in the Orlando area, and still married to Dee, Washington has kept in touch with the sport he loves, and was so good at, by working as a matchmaker. He never reached the absolute top himself, but perhaps he can now use his experiences to help a young, aspiring boxer do so.

  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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