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Tony Harrison vs. Jermell Charlo II – preview & prediction

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By Dean Berman: Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) will be fighting tonight in defending his WBC junior middleweight title in a long awaited rematch against former WBC belt holder Jermell Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) at the Toyota Arena, in Ontario, California. The trash talking is over between the two fighters, and they’ll be ready to settle it tonight. The fight will be shown on FOX PBC Fight Night.

Last Friday, Harrison weighed in at 153.25 lbs at the weigh-in. Charlo came in at 153.5 lbs, and looked in great shape.

Charlo wants to avenge his loss

Harrison, 29, pulled off a big upset in defeating the heavily favored Charlo by a 12 round unanimous decision last December in New York. He used his jab, and his boxing skills to beat Charlo. It was a fight that Charlo could have won had he fought under control, and focused on winning a decision. But he spent most of the contest trying to knockout Harrison with a single punch, but that proved to be a big mistake on his part.

Harrison does well against fighters that try and take his head off. Although Harrison has been stopped twice during his career in losses to Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson, he’d never been out-boxed before. Harrison’s losses to Nelson and Hurd can be attributed to him running out of gas after eight rounds.

Charlo says he’s got “jet fuel” in him for Harrison rematch

“I got jet fuel, and it’s not the regular s— that you can get from anybody else,” said Jermell after the weigh-in. “There’s only two dominant people in the world of boxing, and that’s my twin brother [Jermall]. I’m the little brother, and I’m going to show that I got the syndrome. I’m a knockout artist, and I’m different. Get the smelling salts ready,” said Charlo.

Some boxing fans believe Jermell wants to be a knockout artist like his arguably more talented brother Jermall Charlo (30-0 22 KOs), so he tries hard to KO everybody. Unfortunately, Jermell will never have the power or the talent of his brother Jermall, because he’s not as gifted. Jermall is a beast in terms of punching power, poise and talent.

Jermell isn’t that kind of of a fighter, and never will be. With his 48% KO percentage, Jermall isn’t a knockout artist, and he’s making a big mistake in trying to become that kind of a fighter. He can never be the guy that his brother Jermall. He would do well to focus on winning decisions rather than trying to KO everyone.  Unfortunately, Jermell is a knockout artist want to be.

Harrison: I got mind control over Charlo

“I’m going to show that real mother-f— are always going to be on top,” said Harrison. “That sucker s— don’t last. I’m going to control what I can control. I can control him. I got mind control.

“I’m shredding him to pieces. Not only am I going to win the fight, I’m shredding him with my mouth,” said Harrison of Charlo. “It does nothing for me. I won already, and I’m just here to prove it again. There’s nothing more relishing to me than proving to him again like he said in the interview I saw a month ago.

“He said if I win again, I’m just the better man,” Harrison said in talking about an interview Charlo did recently. “If he says I’m better than him, I’ll hug his b—- a—. If he comes to me like a man and says I’m the better man, I’ll hug him and kiss him, you sweet thing. I enjoy bringing the art back to the sport. If I get f— up, no one is going to write me in the hospital,” said Harrison.

What Tony is talking about his how he has a control over Charlo’s emotions with the things that he says to him. The combination of Harrison’s self confidence, and the pinpoint insults that he makes seems to set Charlo off each time. Jermell has always been a guy that has little control over his emotions.

Charlo is “RETARDED” and “Can’t Talk” – Harrison

“That mother-f— is retarted. He can’t talk,” said Harrison about Charlo. “So it’s up to me to promote this b—- by myself. He is retarted. I’ll give everyone something to talk about. I hope everyone enjoyed it. The real thrill will come when we fight. Let him underestimate. It may be a short night though, and not on my end. Why is he talking about my ankle when we about to fight?

“You’re talking about an ankle that happened five or six months ago,” said Harrison in commenting on Charlo continually mentioning his ankle injury from last summer. “That doesn’t even make sense. The same thing is going to happen again. The s— he says that comes out of his mouth. Where do you get this s— from? I don’t know who his source is. He started saying I ran from his brother in Cancun. When it comes to the gift of gab, I’m destroying that b—-,” said Harrison.

Charlo has seemed lost when standing on stage with Harrison trying to trash talk with him. He possess the same gift of gab that Harrison has, and it’s painful to watch him try to argue with him. It’s not been a fair fight. Charlo should have kept a low key in the run up to this fight, and let Harrison do all the talking, because he makes very little sense when he speaks.

Jermall will say random things that make sense, but then he’ll start babbling, and it’s difficult to understand what he’s talking about. Charlo’s brother Jermall makes perfect sense when he speaks, but for some reason he doesn’t have the same ability to be easily understandable.

Harrison feels like B-side for Charlo rematch

“I think they should still put me first, because right now I’m still carrying that B-side attitude,” said Harrison to secondsout. “I’m fighting under Lions Only promotions, and we’re fighting in LA, one of his homes. It’s still a B-sided thing. Most of the promo goes to him. So I’m still a B-sided guy.

“I ended up beating the guy that was the guy, and I don’t think the world wanted me to do that,” Harrison said. “They don’t want a new face, but they don’t have a choice, because Saturday night, I’m going to do it again. The promotions, he got his hands on everything. But that’s what money gives you. It gives you your hands on everything.

“I broke the barrier and beat him the first time, and I still haven’t gotten my just dues for it. Right now I’m still carrying that B-side attitude chip. That’s always been the strategy. We want him to come out as fast as he wants to come out. And we want him to come out with a full head of steam, and get the fight going early,” said Harrison in hoping that Charlo starts fast tonight.

Charlo remains the A-side in this fight based on his popularity with a lot of boxing fans, who like the way he carries himself, and how he looks. Jermell arguably should have at least 3 losses on his record instead of just one, as his victories over Austin Trout and Vanes Martirosyan were both controversial.

Charlo was the A-side in both of those fights, and wasn’t unexpected that he would get his hand raised at the end. Boxing News 24 had Trout and Martirosyan both beating Charlo.  Jermell is a good fighter, but not the same kind of talent as his twin brother Jermall. He’s the better overall brother, and with more power, and with the superior boxing brain.

Harrison didn’t like Charlo’s trash talking after he beat him

“I think the only ones that benefit from that is the fans,” Harrison continued in talking about Charlo starting off quickly. “The fans benefit from that. This fight, you’re going to see a smart Harrison. Everything was so respectful. I humbly told him after I won the title, ‘You gave me the opportunity [for a title shot]. I’m going to give it back to you.’ He got on the MIC, and said, ‘He said I lost.’

“All I had for me going into that fight was my character,” Harrison said. “I didn’t have no money, no clothes, no car, I didn’t have none of that stuff that people love. All I had was my character, and for you to get on the mic, and to try and destroy that when I just humbly said I’d give you a rematch.

“For you to try and destroy my character, and that’s all I got as a man, that just p—- me off,” said Harrison about Charlo. “I’m already a beast. I don’t like He did that p—- s— and tried to destroy me in front of the world. That’s all I got to my name. If I go to the bank, I’m going to the bank and cashing my character,” said Harrison.

Jermell should have given Harrison credit

Charlo looked like he immediately went into damage control after his loss to Harrison last December, and he looked like a fighter had crumbled mentally. He clearly didn’t take the high road after his loss to Harrison by giving him credit, and saying the better man had won.

With Charlo being the A-side still, Harrison will need to make sure that he wins each round in a convincing fashion. If the rounds are close, you have to figure that Charlo will get the nod.

Harrison: The WBC title didn’t make me

“The title is something I wanted since I was a kid,” said Harrison. “It didn’t make me. It made him. That’s why when he lost, you saw a lot of p—- s— unfold. I’m going to write to the WBC, and fight for that title proudly, but it didn’t make me. It made him. Come Saturday all that I’m fighting for right now is respect for people to respect my name,” said Harrison.

The WBC 154-lb title may not have made Harrison as a person, but he’s gotten a lot more attention from boxing fan since winning the title.

Prediction

Harrison should have little problems beating Charlo tonight by a 12 round decision, but he’ll need to be careful in the first six rounds. That’s generally when Charlo is at his best. He’s explosive puncher, who likes to set traps for his opponents. However, if Charlo is unable to score a knockout in the first six rounds, he’ll run out of answers, and wind up getting out-boxed by Harrison.

The ring IQ between the two fighters is vast. Charlo is a one-dimensional fighter, who fights off of emotion, and he mostly looks for knockouts. Harrison is more of a complete fighter, who can punch as well as box. The power difference between the two is small. Harrison can punch almost as well as Charlo, but he doesn’t go all out looking to stop his opponents.

Harrison vs. Charlo II undercard

Efe Ajagba vs. Iago Kiladze

In other weights on the card, heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba (11-0, 9 KOs) weighed in at 237.75 lbs for his 10 round fight against Iago Kiladze (26-4-1, 18 KOs). For his part, Kiladze weighed in at 230.5 lbs. This fight isn’t expected to go the full 10 round distance, as Ajagba has a major advantage in punching power and talent.

The 33-year-old Georgian Kiladze has been knocked out in 3 out of his last 4 fights since 2018. He’s been stopped by the following heavyweights: Michael Hunter, Joe Joyce and Adam Kownacki. Kiladze was a good cruiserweight, but he’s not looked like the same guy since moving up to heavyweight in 2015.

The 25-year-old 2016 Olympian from Nigeria Ajagba is being brought along slowly by his promoters, who clearly don’t want to rush him at this early stage in his career. Unlike a lot of Olympians, Ajagba has got the youth to be moved slowly.

Ajagba possesses a lot of punching power, but he’s raw in terms of his boxing skills, and he can be hurt. It would be a mistake to put Ajagba in with a solid heavyweight contender, because there would be a good chance that he would be exposed.

Carlos Balderas 132 vs. Rene Tellez Giron 132

2016 Olympian Carlos Balderas (9-0, 8 KOs) weighed in at 132 lbs for his eight-round fight in the lightweight division against Rene Tellez Giron (13-1, 7 KOs). Balderas is a fighter that has future world champion written all over him, and it’s going to be interesting to see how far the 23-year-old can go in his career. Giron, 20, weighed in at 132 lbs as well.


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