Tony Harrison admits he’s chasing Jermell Charlo trilogy
By Sean Jones: Tony Harrison says he’s chasing the trilogy fight with undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, and he believes he’s going to lock himself into that fight by defeating Tim Tszyu to capture the vacant WBO interim 154-lb title on March 12th in Australia.
The former WBC junior middleweight champion Harrison (29-3, 21 KOs) will need to overcome a huge amount of ring rust that he has on him to defeat the unbeaten Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs).
Harrison, 32, has fought just twice in the last four years since losing his WBC belt to Charlo by an 11th found knockout in December 2019.
Tony didn’t look at all good, fighting to a 12 round draw against Bryant Perrella in his sole fight in 2021 and then defeating Sergio Garcia by a 10 round decision in 2022.
Tszyu, 28, has already let boxing fans know that his game plan to defeat Harrison is to draw him into the later rounds and drown him with pressure on March 12th.
Historically, Harrison has had problems gassing out in the later rounds against heavy-handed pressure fighters. All three of Harrison’s past defeats have come in fights in which he gassed out in the later rounds and was subsequently knocked out by Willie Nelson, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo.
Harrison chasing Charlo trilogy
“I looked at it like, I never want to see no athlete get injured, but it happens with us in the physical sport that we’re in,” said Tony Harrison to Fighthype, asked about his thoughts on Jermell Charlo getting injured, which opened the door for him to face Tim Tszyu on March 12th in Australia.
“Everybody knows damn well that’s the fight I’m chasing,” Harrison said about Jermell Charlo. “To be honest, that’s the goal,” Harrison said about retiring if he defeats Charlo in a trilogy fight. “Right now, I still got all my senses. I’m still able to talk to my kids and talk rationally. One punch can change everything.
“For me to become undisputed and for me to start this journey that AB [Alycia Baumgardner] just became, I don’t think there’s nothing else for me to do.
“That’s a nightmare I got to live with,” Harrison said about him being knocked out in the 11th round by Charlo in 2019. “That’s the reason I’m chasing that fight.
“So for me, he got injured, and I said, ‘You know what? Me as a fighter, I’ll take the spot.’ I’ve already been chasing him [Jermell]. So I would have fought whoever I need to fight to get to that fight. Until I get that fight, that’s a nightmare I have to live with because I’m beating myself up,” Harrison said.
Tony excited for 2023
“If my head wasn’t so big, I could make 147 easy,” Harrison continued. “God gave me a massive head, though. My head is so big and I’ve got all that weight in it; I probably could make 147. My eating habits and discipline is very tact. I don’t plan on moving up to 160, so when they [Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford] get there, I’ll probably be there.
“I think that’s an amazing fight. I truly commend those guys for making a fight like that,” Harrison said about the April clash between Spence and Keith Thurman.”I think 2023 is going to be one of the greatest years for boxers and for the boxing period.
“You’re getting the best fights happening. You’re getting the best fighters fighting the best fighters. That’s what the sport needs. Keith Thurman has been chasing Errol like I’ve been chasing Charlo.
“So for me to jump the line to be able to fight somebody he fought, somebody that has a similar style to somebody that I just fought, it was a no-brainer for me,” Harrison said.
“I think Errol can go to any weight and be great. I think there are great fights for Errol for any weight he goes to. There are still great fights for Errol at 147 if he decides to stay there. I think the talent level that he’s got, the trainers that he got; I think the skies are the limit for those guys.
“That’s over. It’s over. Once you got up, it’s over,” said Harrison when asked how difficult it’ll be for Spence to return to 147 to fight Terence Crawford after he faces Thurman at 154. “I think that’s the hardest thing to take a body up to a new weight, get used to it, and then deplete it; I don’t think we’ll see the same Errol Spence going back down.
“I just think I’d give Errol the edge [over Crawford] just because of the guys he’s fought. I think his career is more solidified because of the people Errol fought. I think Errol can retire now and not give a damn about Terence Crawford, and I think Terence Crawford can retire right now and not give a damn about Errol.
“That’s truly upsetting, man. That’s a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight we’ve been waiting on. These guys are still young. Mayweather and they dragged us along for so long. We’ve got two young guys at the pinnacle of the sport that is able to give it to us, and we ain’t go it. I just think it’s sad.
“Business, everything is about business now,” Harrison said when asked why we haven’t gotten the Errol vs. Crawford fight. “I think fighters put too much in the business part of it. Fighters want to fight.
“Errol wants to fight Terence, and Terence wants to fight Errol. It’s something in the middle that’s shaking that up that’s making it not shake right. I don’t know what it is. Nobody is missing out but the fans,” said Harrison.
Tszyu’s toughness not enough
“I think he’s as tough as it gets, but I don’t think that’s enough,” said Harrison about Tszyu. “If that’s all you have to offer is being tough, that’s not enough. The game plan he’s got to try and take me into deep water to try and drown me; I heard that s**t, and I’ve seen that s**t a hundred times before.
“I think he missed the train when it probably would have worked for him. I think he missed that train, and I’m a seasoned vet now. I don’t think nobody can tell me that’s what they’re going to do, and that’s going to work.
“I think the most gratifying thing was to see him get off the mat and when every round after that,” Harrison said about Tszyu being dropped by Terrell Gausha in the first round of their fight last April.
“I pat him on the back because that’s what true champions and true fighters do. He showed me he’s a true champion and a true fighter. Everybody has got flaws. You can see flaws in everybody’s game,” Harrison said when asked if he saw flaws in Tszyu’s game from the Gausha fight.
“There’s no fighter you can see that you don’t see flaws in their game. The thing is exploiting it. I got flaws; he’s got flaws; everybody has got flaws. The thing is exploiting them. If I’m able to exploit it like I do in my mind, I’m going to be victorious,” said Harrison.
“I don’t think he needs me,” Harrison said about Jermell Charlo. “He did what AB [Baumgardner] did. He mastered the division. No matter how he did it, he mastered the division, so I don’t think he needs me.
“We don’t like each other. You don’t like me, I don’t like you. It’s one-to-one. So I don’t understand. The competitiveness in me is like, why are we leaving it right there? I just want to fight him again for man purposes.
“I’m going to be sick to retire one to one with him. I think for legacy purposes, I think he’s going to have to defend it,” Harrison said about Jermell needing to defend his undisputed 154-lb championship, which he has still yet to do.
“He’s talking about legacy a lot. There’s no way you can move up after winning it the way you won it. There are still great fights to be made. Whether you fight me or not, there are still great fights to be made, and there are still great fighters for you to fight and beat. That’s for legacy purposes,” Harrison said of Charlo.
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