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Tony Harrison SLAPS Jermell Charlo’s hand away when he invades his space

Image: Tony Harrison SLAPS Jermell Charlo's hand away when he invades his space

By Chris Williams: WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison slapped former champion Jermell Charlo’s hand angrily when he invaded his space during Thursday’s final press conference ahead of their rematch on Saturday night at Toyota Arena, in Ontario, California.  The fight will be televised on FOX PBC Fight Night.

(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions)

Charlo wants to avenge his 12 round decision loss to Harrison from last year in December.

Harrison tolerated Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) when he got in close during the face off and jawed at him nonstop, not giving him much of a chance to speak. But when Charlo escalated things by pointing at him in putting his hands in his face, Harrison slapped his hand away and looked ready to take things to the next level. The handlers from both fighters rushed in and separated the two fighters before things could go to the next level.

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As usual, the hot-heated Charlo had come unglued, and he looked completely stressed out. Harrison has been pointing out for weeks that Charlo mentally weak, and emotional person, who doesn’t think when he gets worked up.

Although Charlo denies that he’s an emotional person, today’s blowup at the final news conference was all the evidence that one needed to see that he has problems controlling his fiery temper. Thing of it is, it didn’t take any effort on Harrison’s part to send Charlo over the top. Harrison looked so calm as he made a few pointed remarks about what he’s going to do to him on Saturday.

Charlo was trying to “Punk me” – Harrison

“Once he started moving his hands and putting his hands in my space, I felt like that was ultimate disrespect,” said Harrison to Fighthub about what led up to him slapping his hand away during the face off with Jermell on Thursday’s final news conference.

“He was trying to punk me. When someone tries to talk s–I’m going to talk s– right back. But once you start putting your hands close to my face, it becomes disrespect. There’s no way I’m going to [take that]. I don’t care where I’m at. He was moving his hands in my cool space, and it felt disrespectful, man. I never let anybody put their hands in my face. It started getting disrespectful, and he f— that up.

If I don’t feel like I’m fit to win, then I’m not going to do it. I’m fired up. All he did was fire me up a little bit more with the s— on stage. I’m fired. I’m ready to go, and I’m going to win. That’s the name of the game. If I see an inch that I can stop this mother-f—, I’m going to stop him. I’m going to stop his a–, and I’m going to put a stamp on it,” said Harrison.

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It did look like Charlo was trying to put Harrison in a position where he was viewed as weak by fans by putting his hands in his face. When Harrison slapped Charlo’s hand away, he appeared shocked and scared. It was as if the bully met up with someone that was willing to stand their ground, and his confidence melted away at that moment. You could see the fear in Charlo’s face. It was like, ‘Don’t hit me.’

Charlo expects to knockout Harrison

“I’m not the type of fighter to go 12,” said Jermell at the final news conference. “I land very hard shots, and they’re consistent with the power that I punch. He’s not making it. Hand raised with no scratch on the face,” said Jermell when asked how he envisions his fight against Harrison.

“Everything I’ve done in training, and done differently, I can see on Saturday against a guy I fought last year,” said Charlo. “It’s going to be judged very well to where everything that matters what you do. This is professional boxing, not amateurs. I’m not here to score points.

“Some of the things he did in the last fight, he didn’t satisfy the fans, and that’s why he’s not looked as a pure champion,” Charlo said about Harrison. “Even though he has a title, he doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves, because he didn’t come and take it,” Charlo said.

Charlo isn’t a knockout puncher, and it would be a big mistake for him to pursue a stoppage win. He only has a 48% KO percentage, and for some reason he’s suddenly seeing himself as a knockout artist like his twin brother Jermall.

The five knockouts that Charlo has compiled in the last four years has planted ideas in his head that he’s a knockout puncher. Charlo clearly isn’t a big puncher, and the only reason he scored those stoppages was due to his weak opposition.

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Jermell plans on leaving no doubts in beating Harrison

“My job is to do what he should have done, and that’s to come in and knockout the champion, and take it from him,” said Charlo in talking about wanting to stop Harrison. “I’m going to leave no doubts for you guys. I could have done this, and I could have done that. There’s things I could have done better,” said Charlo. “I’m going to go in and do it.

“Now is the time to do it to deter any moves he tries to make,” said Charlo. “I’m expected to live by my word, and who I thought I was going to be. I just have to win. You mean passionate, high IQ, very smart, you mean got a college degree and education? Nah, I’m not hot headed. I’m smart. I see a lot of ignorant activities going on, and it would be stupid for me not to speak up about it.

“And when I speak up about it and bring it to life, I become the emotional guy,” said Charlo. “Its Lions only, and it’s passion. I live and die by this, and this is the boxing world. I don’t know how long I exist in this world with you guys, but as long as I do exist, you’ll get this type of fighter,” said Jermell.

What Charlo should try and do is to use his boxing skills, because he’s never going to knockout Harrison by losing it mentally in trying to stop him. Harrison showed that he had the much higher ring IQ last time they fought, and there’s nothing that’s going to change that. The way that Harrison schooled Charlo, you could tell that he’ll do the same no matter how often they fight.

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