Preview: Harrison vs. Charlo II
By Robert Ecksel on December 18, 2019
Harrison spoiled Charlo’s perfect record. He also ended his two and half year title reign.
On Saturday, December 21, in a fight televised live on FOX and FOX Deportes from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, WBC super welterweight champion Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs), the slick boxer-puncher from Detroit, Michigan, will defend his title against Jermell Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs), the former WBC super welterweight champ who Harrison dethroned one year ago.
The final scores in their first fight were 116-112 and 115-113 twice in Harrison’s favor, yet the decision could have gone either way. But the judges have the last word and they awarded the underdog a unanimous decision, much to the dismay of Jermell, his twin brother Jermall, and some of the crowd in attendance at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
That was then and this is now, however, and Charlo, if things go according to plan, intends to win back the super welterweight belt he believes is rightfully his.
The two men were originally slated to fight in June, but when Harrison suffered torn ligaments in his ankle while in training, the rematch was postponed and rescheduled for this weekend.
Twenty-nine-year-old Harrison fought a tactical first fight, using his speed, athleticism, and ring smarts to thwart Charlo's usually dominant offense. We’ll soon learn if that strategy will work a second time, now that each fighter knows what he is facing.
“The delay just made me even hungrier heading into this fight,” Harrison said. “Watching Charlo the night we were supposed to go shine, and rejuvenate himself, it built up so much hunger in me. I’m tired of the talk and the noise. I’m ready to go.
“We’re looking to work smarter this time. I think everything I did before worked, but we want to make it even more decisive. The plan is to be more technically sound overall. You may see an early knockout. It’s tense between both parties. I’m pretty sure he wants to knock me out as much as I want to knock him out. Whoever has the best plan will win. But I’m by far the better athlete. Athlete for athlete it’s not even close. I’ll beat him in everything, running, basketball, football. My style is perfect for his style. He’s Shane Mosley to my Vernon Forrest. I’ll beat him every time I face him.”
Those are fighting words, and fighting is what Charlo does best. Harrison not only spoiled the night and Jermell’s perfect record. He ended his two and half year title reign.
“I still feel strongly that I won that first fight,” said Charlo, “and I’m going to do things in a more dominant fashion this time. I’m coming into this fight being the overpowering, strong, ferocious Jermell Charlo. Tony Harrison is not on my level. It’s my job on December 21 to prove that and to prove my worth. I’m coming in there mentally focused.
“I want to look for the knockout and set it up. I don’t want it to go the judges. That’s my worst nightmare. If it does go 12 rounds, he’s going to be very injured at the end. The loss taught me how to be more patient and to take things step-by-step. I’m going to show everyone why Jermell Charlo is a threat to the whole 154-pound division. I personally feel I’m the best in the division. I’m an upgraded Jermell Charlo that you’ll see on December 21.”