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Tszyu – Harrison: Should the referee have stopped it sooner?

Image: Tszyu - Harrison: Should the referee have stopped it sooner?

By Dan Ambrose: Many boxing fans on social media question why the referee took his time before finally stopping the Tim Tszyu vs. Tony Harrison fight in the ninth round last Saturday night at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.

It’s unclear why Harrison never attempted to hold after getting hurt by Tszyu in the ninth, as the Detroit native has been around long enough to know what to do when hurt in a fight. Perhaps Harrison’s pride kept him from holding, or he wasn’t thinking clearly because of how hurt he was.

Tszyu hit Harrison with 23 consecutive blows without him throwing one shot in return, yet the referee failed to step in. Why didn’t the referee step in and stop the carnage? There was no chance that Harrison could have weathered the storm during that final onslaught from Tszyu because he was too hurt. But even if Harrison had, he would have finished off right away because he was fatigued from the fight’s pace.

The badly hurt 32-year-old Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs) took an awful hammering from Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) in ninth round, with shot after shot hitting him to the head, and it was obvious that he could not defend himself from the rain of blows coming at him one after another.

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Tszyu finally put Harrison down after hitting him with three consecutive painful-looking uppercuts to the head. Somehow, Harrison beat the count but was on shaky legs when he got to his feet.

The referee Danrex Tapdasan instructed Harrison to walk forward to check whether he could continue fighting. At that point, the referee chose to stop it when he saw that Harrison was too hurt to be allowed to continue.

Harrison has always had stamina issues during his career, and the fact that he’s only fought twice in the last four years almost guaranteed he would gas out in the championship rounds.

If Harrison had been a little more active with his career since 2019, he probably would have held up a little better, but he’s not stayed active since his loss to Jermell Charlo four years ago. Two fights in four years were not enough for Harrison to compete with a young lion like Tszyu.

“The message was sent clearly. You know what’s next; you know I’m coming,” said Tim Tszyu at the post-fight press conference about his message to undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.

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