Tony Harrison: ‘I was BEATING Jermell Charlo at his own game’
By Robert Addams: A day after his 11th round knockout loss to Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs), former WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) is still having a hard time coming to terms with his defeat. Harrison believes that he was beating Harrison at the moment that he was caught by a big right hand shot in the 11th round, and dropped.
The rest is history. Charlo, 29, knocked Harrison down once more, and then finished him with a barrage of shots that caused the referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight at 2:08 of round 11.
Harrison vs. Charlo II brings in highest ratings on Fox since January
Harrison-Charlo 2 was televised on FOX PBC Fight Night. According to Fox, the ratings for the Harrison vs. Charlo 2 rematch ties the Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez fight last January as the best rating for boxing in 2019.
There was a lot of bad blood between Harrison and Charlo in the lead up to their rematch last Saturday, and that created massive interest. Harrison showed what a great talker he is, as he almost single-handedly got the boxing public excited about this fight with his hilarious insults towards Charlo.
Harrison and Charlo like a comedy team
What Harrison showed that he’s unrivaled in the sport today with his trash talking ability. Harrison and Charlo were like a comedy team going into this fight, and it made fun to watch.
Charlo was straight man and Harrison the guy that told all the jokes. It’s almost too bad there had to be a loser in this fight, because it would be interesting to see them fight again just so that fans could see the trash talking.
Charlo was ecstatic after reclaiming his old WBC 154-lb title at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. After the fight, Charlo was already planning his next move for his first title defense, which will likely be taking place in the first half of 2020.
Harrison on loss to Charlo: It was a learning experience
“I trained hard for this. I’m really disappointed,” said Harrison about his loss to Charlo. “I got a little bit relaxed. In this, you got to be 100 percent all the way through. I feel like I was winning it, but f— my life away from me. And I got to be on my s–, man. We can do it a third time, but I want to get back to my family.
“I tried to dog the dog. You got to be defensively sound more, man. F– my life,” said Harrison. “It don’t even have to be the hard shot. It’s the one that we don’t see. Man, it hurt my heart. It was short,” said Harrison in recalling the right hook that Charlo hurt him with in the 11th. “I felt like I had my hand up, and it was short of my mother f—- glove.
“It’s a learning experience for me. I’m learning still, man. I know,” said Harrison. “I should have started off pushing a little quicker man in the last two rounds. Detroit, I love you, and I’m sorry. And for sure, I’ll be back. I’m from Detroit, and I’ll be back. We needed this one, but I was beating him at his game though, man,” said Harrison.
Tony did well when he started walking Charlo down in the second half of the fight, but he got a little careless in the 11th round was clipped by a hook. What was surprising is that took that long for Charlo to finally connect with a punch big enough to hurt Harrison, because he was loading up all night long.
Charlo took a lot of right hands the entire fight, and never adapted to get out of the way of those shots.
Sergio Mora: Harrison was winning the fight
“I thought Tony Harrison was winning the fight until he got he got knocked down,” said former junior middleweight champion Sergio Mora to Fighthype. “Never hook with a hooker. In the second half of the fight, Tony Harrison was trying to win the fight.
“In the first half of the fight, it was more power punches, that’s Charlo’s fight. He got caught punching with a puncher, and Charlo is a bigger puncher. Yeah, but that’s his personality, he’s done it before,” said Mora when asked if Harrison shouldn’t have did the antics in this fight. “It’s that swag, he was playing to the crowd. That s— cost him his titles, because I thought he was winning the fight.
“I think he [Charlo] had to respect Harrison’s technique,” Mora said. “Harrison was punching behind technique. Charlo was going with power and pressure. You don’t want to hook with a hooker. You want to use your reach, but he got caught hooking with a hooker,” Mora said.
Harrison should have stayed on the outside, and not got into the firing line with Charlo. That’s where he made a big mistake. Tony decided that he felt he could have success by walking Charlo down, and unloading on him with his power shots. After all, Charlo struggled in the past when he dealt with pressure from Vanes Martirosyan and Austin Trout.
Those guys were walking Charlo down, and getting the better of him. What those fights showed is Charlo isn’t as powerful as his brother Jermall, and he’s not as smart as him in adapting to changing situations inside the ring.
Mora surprised Charlo kept getting hit with the same shot
“Yes, I was surprised Charlo kept getting hit with the same shot on top of the head,” said Mora. “Man, Charlo can take a shot. He was getting hit with the right hand. In every single fight, he gets hit with a right hand on top of the head, and on the side of the head, but Charlo was taking them well. His legs never buckled.
“Credit to Harrison for landing those shots, but more credit to Charlo for taking those shots,” said Mora. “He reacted like a champ, and that’s why he’s champion again. It feels good or the champ to get those titles back. There’s nothing like that feeling, and new two time champion. I never knew, because it never happened.
“And I think it’ll hurt when he sees the scorecards, and realizes he was 2 or 3 rounds away from pulling out a decision, but then getting caught hooking with a stronger puncher,” said Mora about Harrison.
“I gotta watch that fight,” said Mora when asked if Charlo would beat IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams. “That was high octane power chess [Harrison vs. Charlo 2]. I was really entertained. It could have gone either way. I think J-Rock-Charlo would be the exact same fight,” said Mora.
Harrison will be less upset about his loss when he realized that two of the judges had Charlo well ahead at 96-93, 96-93 going into the 11th. With those scores, Harrison would have needed to do something drastic to win the fight, because he wasn’t going to get a decision.
With the way those two judges were scoring the fight, Harrison would have needed knockdowns for him to win. Although Harrison has excellent power, Charlo had no problems taking his best shots.