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Tony Harrison vs. Jermell Charlo rematch on June 23 on FOX


By Mike Smith: The rematch between WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) and former WBC 154 lb champion Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) is being talked about for June 23 on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX, according to Mike Coppinger. If Charlo, 28, wins the fight, then he’ll face the winner of the May 11th Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams fight in a big unification match with three 154 lb titles [IBF, WBA and WBC] on the line. The date for the Harrison vs. Charlo II fight still isn’t official, however.

Charlo was all set to face IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) this year, but then disaster struck with Charlo losing to Harrison by a narrow, some would say, controversial 12 round unanimous decision late last year on December 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Charlo came into that fight as a heavy favorite, but the well-schooled Kronk Gym fighter Harrison out-boxed him in beating him by a 12 round decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112.

Some boxing fans felt that it was a robbery, but Harrison dominated too many of the rounds for anyone to say that Jermell deserved the win. Harrison expertly used his jab to control the fight. Charlo made the mistake of fancying himself as a big puncher by loading up on everything he threw. Harrison has a lot of guys in Detroit that fight the way that Jermell does, and he had an easy time of avoiding his big shots. Charlo never adapted, and ended up suffering his first career loss.

The way the previous fight played out, it’s difficult to picture Charlo being able to beat Harrison in the rematch unless he knocks him out. Harrison is just too smart for Charlo, and a much better fighter. The only thing that Charlo had going for him in their previous fight was power, and even that wasn’t a huge edge. Harrison’s shots were almost as powerful.

“SOURCES: The junior middleweight title rematch between Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo is slated to take place June 23 in the main event of PBC on FOX,” Mike Coppinger said on his Twitter. “Harrison lifted the title from Jermell with a highly controversial decision win in December. If Charlo comes out on top and Jarrett Hurd is successful against Julian Williams (May 11 on FOX), the plan is to pit Hurd against Jermell in a marquee unification fight later this year.”

The location of the Harrison vs. Charlo II fight will be important in deciding the winner of this contest. If the rematch takes place in Charlo’s home state of Texas, it might be hard for Harrison to win a decision. Harrison is smart, and he’ll resist any efforts on Charlo’s part to have the second fight negotiated to take place in Texas where he would be at a potential disadvantage.

Harrison already lost to Hurd by a ninth round knockout in a competitive fight in February 2017. Most boxing fans would conclude from watching that fight that Hurd would have too much fire power and size for Harrison in a rematch. Harrison would likely retool his game, and come up with a plan to keep Hurd off of him, as that’s the only way Jarrett would win that fight. Hurd doesn’t have the boxing skills to beat Harrison if he keeps the action on the outside for 12 rounds.

WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia likely won’t figure into this mini-tournament like box-off unfortunately. Munguia’s co-promoters at Golden Boy Promotions will likely have him doing his own thing, defending his World Boxing Organization belt against the contenders in the top 15 with the WBO without putting him in a risky situation against the experienced lions at 154 like Hurd, Harrison, Charlo or Julian Williams. Munguia is expected up to move up to middleweight in 2020 to go after a fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez. It would be nice though if Munguia chose to challenge the winner of the eventual three title belts at 154, be it Charlo, Harrison, Hurd or Williams. Munguia would be showing some courage to face the last man standing from those series of fights.

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