It was a tactical outing, was the chief support bout on the first PBC on Fox event, which screened in America on your local Fox channel.
Jermell Charlo saw in front of him at Barclays Center a Tony Harrison who wasn't inclined to take risks, and the Texan seemed content to smart box his way to a UD rather than seek to take risks and overwhelm a guy who'd been stopped in both his losses.
Maybe, if he had it back, he would have looked to put a stamp on it…Because the judges had the final say.
And you who knows boxing knows what often happens then…
Charlo, one minute younger than bro Jermall, came in holding the WBC’s 154 pound crown, for the record. He gave it up, in a decision that struck the crowd as a shocker. By scores of 116-112, 115-113, 115-113, Harrison exulted, and he then declared it wasn't so when Jermell got in his face and told him he thought he knew he lost the bout.
Harrison said he'd give Jermell a rematch, but then got irked after Jermell declared he'd been screwed. Myself, I agreed with the card of unofficial scorer Larry Hazzard Sr, who saw it 117-111, for Charlo. (Thought I must acknowledge, I do type and Tweet during some live action, so I always deem my card deeply unofficial.)
“I dictated the pace,” said Harrison after. “That's what champions do. He wound up for big shots and I kept my defense tight. All we worked on was defense. I kept my composure and I did what champions do.
“I’m blessed. I told y’all, my family, everyone. He’s a great champion. I’ve seen him in the gym. He’s a hell of a champion. I used my ring generalship.
“Jermell – you gave me a shot – I’ll give you a rematch.
“I got back to my corner after every round. They told me to just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re dictating the pace. I dictated the pace. That’s what champions do. Champions don’t just try to knock people out. That’s all he wanted to do. I dictated it. I used my jab. I dictated the fight. That’s what champions do.” To be very honest, not many folks outside of Michigan seemed to agree…although some high profile boxers did seem to give Harrison more than than did Average Joes.
“They took that fight from me. I was pressing the action,” Jermell said after. “He didn’t win that fight. I’m going to get my belts back. I still want Jarrett Hurd. I know my brother knows I won that fight. I might have given away a few rounds, but I won that fight.”
Harrison (from Detroit) is 28, was 153 3/4 on Friday, and has been pro for 7 years. The Texas based Jermell was 153 1/2, is also 28 and has been a pro for 11 years.
Harrison tried for a title before but was stopped by Jarrett Hurd; he said he wants nothing more than a remach this week. Jermell, wearing a “Black Pyramid” tee, was making the fourth defense of his title.
In the first, we saw Harrison in the tiger striped trunks move a bit, making sure the Lions Only bro didn’t catch him early and cold. It was a cautious round.
In the second, we saw another non barnburner round. Lots of jabs and assessing. Dad Ali Salaam Ali, in his corner, told Tony he liked the round.
In the third, Jermell snapped a sharp jab. It was another slow round.
In the fourth, a right clanged on the ear of Tony. Now Jermell was more so ripping shots.
In the fifth, Jermell came out heated. He looked to close the distance, pressed more. Trainer Derrick James in this round said he wanted that, more pressure. Harrison scored and maybe lightly buzzed Jermell but the Texan roared back. Harrison’s jab by the way was also sharp and rapid. A right landed and Tony looked to hold some.
In the sixth, Harrison didn’t take risks, he was fighting like a person who’d been stopped in both his losses. “Keep working behind the jab,” said James after the round.
In the 7th, it was a tight round, Harrison fired a few more combos. In round 8, Harrison stayed cautious. Would he open up soon…or at all?
In the ninth, a counter right by Harrison as Jermell bore in resonated…but he needed more. In the 10th; more of the same. Measured movements from both.
In the 11th, we saw Tony jab and move and not often commit to a right hand. He didn't know he'd be down on the cards? “Go get him,” James demanded.
In round 12, a left hook hurt Tony. He held on, for safe keeping. He wanted to make it 12, though, and he did. Was it a robbery? Chris Myers said that seemed the case. Ray Mancini said he didn't fight well enough to win the title. Overall, the fight was no classic, so maybe best we move on…