Tony Harrison says Tim Tszyu “stupid” for fighting him
By Adam Baskin: Tony Harrison believes Tim Tszyu & his management made a “stupid” decision by selecting him as an opponent for March 12th, given that he’s the WBO mandatory challenger to undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.
The former WBC 154-lb champion Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) says if the shoe was on the other foot and he was the one that was in the same position as the 28-year-old Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs), he would have waited for Charlo to come back from his hand injury and challenged him for his title.
While Harrison, 32, is glad that Tszyu chose to give him the opportunity, he thinks it’s a foolish mistake that he’s made, and he plans on taking full advantage of that on March 12th when the two battle for the interim WBO 154-b title at the 21,000-seat Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, Australia.
At the same time, Harrison suspects that Tszyu will realize before March 12th that he made a colossal blunder in choosing him and will soon pull out of the fight with an injury excuse. When that happens, the boxing world will view Tszyu as a “fraud” and see him as having weaseled out of the contest because he lost his nerve.
Harrison expects Tszyu to pull out
“I’m expecting him to pull out,” said Tony Harrison to Main Event’s Ben Damon. “The world will consider him a fraud because we all know that he found a way to wiggle out of fighting Tony Harrison.”
“Never in a million years,” said Harrison when asked if he’d have taken fight if he were in the same position on the door of a world title shot against Charlo.
“This is the stupidest decision you can make as management, as a promotion,” continued Harrison.
I wouldn’t have fought Tim. I wouldn’t have fought nobody to be honest. I would’ve waited it out. And I’m patting them on the back because that was stupid, very stupid. Courageous in the sense of boxing, but stupid in the sense of business,” said Harrison.
It’s admirable that Harrison is open about what he would have done by not taking any risks that would blow his title shot against Charlo, but it’s also a glimpse of his mindset, which shows a person that wants to play it safe with his career.
You can argue that Harrison’s play-it-safe attitude is the reason his career has stagnated since losing his WBC 154-b title to Jermell Charlo in their rematch in December 2021. Sadly, Harrison has only fought twice since that loss, being held to a 12 round draw against Bryant Perrella in 2021 and beating Sergio Garcia in 2022.
Has Tony Harrison played it safe?
It’s fair to say that if Harrison were more of a risk-taker and had more purpose with his career, he would have done much more in the last four years since his loss to Charlo in 2019. When a fighter only fights twice in four years, that says a lot about their ambition or lack thereof.
While Harrison might think it’s “stupid” for Tszyu to be fighting him, you also put the spotlight on him and say it was a stone waste of his talent & career to only fight twice in four years.
Harrison’s inactivity in the last four years is a more significant blunder than Tszyu choosing to face him. Why has Harrison been so inactive? Is it a confidence issue or a lazy, lackadaisical attitude of someone not wanting to return to work because it’s easier to sit at home, flipping channels on the TV?
With Harrison’s inactivity, it’s unlikely that he will be sharp enough to win this fight against Tszyu. The fighter that pulled off an upset against Charlo in 2018 is gone because you can’t be as inactive as Harrison in the last five years and expect to be the same fighter.
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