Jermell Charlo Wants to Make History

By Richard E. Baker on December 25, 2019

"But taking a year off, my boxing wasn't used to it. He earned it and no excuses." (Getty)

Jermell Charlo, dressed like a box of crayons, entered the ring for his fight against Harrison with havoc on his mind. Revenge is what he wanted, revenge for Tony Harrison taking his title in what he viewed as a poor decision. He has yet to realize that that Harrison didn’t judge the fight so there is no reason to be angry with him. He should have been angry with the judges. Still, both fighters have been angry with each other since the fight, and not just the silly reality show anger to boost ratings, but truly ticked-off.

 

That anger worked against Charlo for much of the fight. His wide looping punches came from left field, right field, Sally field, Flander’s field, and any other available field. He wanted no judges involved in the decision and decided to throw as many ineffectual punches as he could hoping he might miss the air and actually land something. Occasionally he did.

 

Silly man. Any decent boxer knows a straight punch lands quicker than one traveling through New Jersey. Harrison, who kept his head during the entire bout, knew that and never changed his tactics, his way forward cleared by straight and accurate punches.

 

Charlo managed to put him down in the 2nd round mostly because Harrison was off balance than from any meaningful punch. Harrison immediately popped up.

 

"It let him know that the power was real and 2020 is going to be real,'' Charlo said.

 

The next few rounds did not prove that as Harrison, unfazed, continued to walk Charlo down and landing the cleaner and straighter punches.

 

Finally, in the 11th round, Charlo landed a devastating right hand that dropped Harrison for the second time in the fight. This time Harrison was dazed. He managed to rise before the count and Charlo moved in, landing with a barrage of punches and dropping Harrison onto the ropes again.

 

Harrison again managed to rise. Charlo moved in for the kill. He never landed another effective punch but the referee, Jack Reiss, had seen enough and called the fight.

 

“Jack is a championship referee,” said Harrison. “I started getting a little lax and got caught.” 

 

Today, boxers simply do not fight enough to stay sharp. Imagine a football team playing only one game a year. “But taking a year off, my boxing wasn't used to it. He earned it and no excuses. I got caught sleeping.”  

 

Charlo said, “I'm off to bigger and better things. I'm down for making history. He held the title too long and I had to come back and get it."

 

Maybe. There are half a dozen other boxers in his weight class that will walk through his open defense and merry-go-round punches with straight shots and give him a real look at history.