By Dan Ambrose: WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison says he sees former WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo as little more than an excuse-ridden, ”broken man”, who he plans on beating in their rematch next month on June 23 on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & Fox Deportes at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The televised fight card starts at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) and ‘Iron Man’ Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) met on Wednesday at their news conference in Los Angeles, California to discuss their rematch on the 23rd of June.
Charlo, 28, seemed to be in denial about his previous loss to Harrison, saying that it was a “robbery” in their fight five months ago on December 22 on PBC at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Harrison, 28, won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112. Boxing News 24 had Harrison winning by eight rounds to four.
Harrison outsmarted Charlo, who looked like he was swinging for the fences the entire fight, trying to take Harrison out with single blasts, missing badly most of the fight and eating jabs to the head. Charlo looked a fighter that was poorly trained, and not thinking on his feet. He failed to adapt when he fell behind in the fight in the first six rounds. Charlo continued to try and slug, and he never did catch his rhythm. It wasn’t the first time that Charlo had struggled in a fight. He had just as much problems in his fight against Vanes Martirosyan in March 2015 in winning a controversial 10 round unanimous decision in Las Vegas, Nevada. Charlo appeared to lose to Vanes by at least four rounds, but the judges gave him the decision by the scores 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94. Two of the judges worked the Saul Canelo vs. Gennady Golovkin fights that both took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Charlo was the A-side for the Martirosyan fight.
“I mean he’s broken! I mean he was on suicide watch for a minute,” Harrison said about Charlo to Fighthub. ”He didn’t post a goddamn thing…His characteristics as a man is fraudulent…but he’s always been a good fighter to me, man. But don’t like diminish the character of another man because you lost from it…I take nothing from beating him again. My thing is I’m the ultimate competitor. There’s nobody in this world that can compete more than me. Controversy was the best thing to happen for this fight, because it made everybody wants to see it again,” Harrison said.
There’s fans interest in the Harrison vs. Charlo rematch, but I wouldn’t say “everybody wants to see it again,” the way that Harrison is talking. There’s some interest in a second Harrison-Charlo fight, but more boxing fans prefer to see IBF/WBA 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd take on Charlo than they do in seeing Harrison fight Jermell a second time. It doesn’t matter that Charlo is no longer the WBC junior middleweight champion. The fans still want to see him and Hurd face each other to get a chance to see which of the two is the better fighter. A fight between those two needs to happen soon before Hurd outgrows the 154-pound division, and needs to move up to 160. Charlo likely will stay at 154 rather than move up to 160 and have to deal with the lions in that weight class.
“I have respect for Tony… but I think he knows that he didn’t do enough to win that fight. It was a robbery, but that just means I have the opportunity for redemption,” Charlo said in continuing to stay on his theme of having been robbed last December in his fight with Harrison. “I feel like I’m the people’s champ for fans all around the world. My popularity is still growing despite the robbery. I’m going to step into the ring and channel everything into a great performance.”
Charlo says he’s got a different game plan for the rematch with Harrison. That must mean he’s going to stay on the outside and try and box him rather than looking to knock him out.
The fans might be getting Charlo mixed up with his brother Jermall Charlo. He’s the one that fans are excited about. Jermell’s star, such as it is, has faded dramatically since his loss to Harrison. There was absolutely no controversy. Jermell clearly lost the fight to Harrison. The only controversy on the night was the questionable win for his brother Jermall in the main event in his 12 round unanimous decision win over 36-year-old southpaw Matt Korobov (28-2, 14 KO). Jermall was seemingly beaten by the talented Russian. The judges scored it for Charlo by the scores 116-112, 119-108 and 116-112. That fight was seen as a robbery in favor of Charlo, but the other co-feature match between Harrison and Jermell was a match where the judges got it right.
“Not everybody gets a chance to redeem their losses,” Harrison said. “But the fact that I took this should show how confident I am in beating Jermell again. I don’t need anyone to co-sign me because I’m confident in what I can do as a man and as a fighter,” said Harrison.
It’s pretty clear that for Harrison to keep Charlo from crying robbery again, he’s probably going to have to knock him out. Harrison has excellent punching power, so it’s possible that he could stop Charlo if he sits down on his shots a little more. Jabbing won’t get the job done for Harrison. He’s going to have to go after Charlo to get him out of there. Hopefully, this is the last time these two fight each other if Harrison wins again. It’s tiresome to here Charlo complaining about being robbed. Harrison needs to move on, and look to face Hurd in a rematch or WBO champion Jaime Munguia. Hurd stopped Harrison in the ninth round two years ago in February 2017. The fight was competitive for eight rounds, but then Hurd took over after Harrison gassed out in the ninth round. It was the same situation for Harrison in his ninth round knockout loss to journeyman Willie Nelson in 2015. Harrison fought well in that fight until fading in the championship rounds in getting stopped in the ninth.