The fight was among the most anticipated of the year in boxing 2019, in America, largely because the trash talk, the heated interplay between Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo indicated to fight fans that their rematch would be a heated battle.
Seasoned fight fans know there isn't always a correlation between the quality of the pre-fight hype banter and the fight-night quality. There may even be an inverse correlation, some stat head should take a deeper look at that dynamic…
But that aside, yes, Jermell Charlo's late inning foot on the gas press against Harrison won him the weekend on my card.
But, let's widen out the scope, and say that Texas Boxing won the weekend. Charlo got that career defining W, and welterweight miracle man Errol Spence, also trained by Derrick James, traveled to Cali, and did an on camera chat with Fox in which he promised to return to action in May or June. Yeah, score one for the Lone Star state and the state of their pugilism.
That was my take–I reached out to the NYF Squad and extended fam, to see who they thought won the pre-holiday weekend?
“Are we really serious here? New WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo looked like a lion in stopping a very game Tony Harrison in the 11th round, to once again look like the class of the division,” said NY Fights senior contributor John Gatling. “Within our sport — which somehow took on a “loss culture” of discarded indifference, defeat can prove victorious, for very rarely does one broach all-time greatness without setbacks. In a great capper to a really good looking card from Al Haymon and PBC on FOX, Charlo unveiled a more seasoned grit just in time for the holidays, unwrapping the best version of Harrison I've seen in quite some time round by round. It was a thoroughly professional performance of fire, which should serve as a warning for the champ's prospects in 2020.”
“PBC on Fox won the weekend,” said NY Fights' West Coast Bureau Chief Abe Gonzalez. “It was clear that Fox wanted this show to do big numbers as they increased the shoulder programming for the rematch in hopes of a large number of eyeballs. Did it ever come thru and I truly believe that boxing gained some new fans from this event!”
“Got to say Charlo won the weekend, he produced a stunning knockout when the general consensus was he was behind in the fight,” said fighter/analyst Chris Glover. “He produced the performance of a champion and full credit to him.
“Few things are more exciting than a boxer snatching victory from the jaws of defeat – especially during a title fight, and that's just what Jermell Charlo did Saturday night,” said David Phillips, film critic, and contributor to NY Fights. “Harrison was his better for most of the 10 previous rounds (I don't care what those ridiculous scorecards said) until Charlo found the mark and kept hammering it until the referee stopped it. I know some thought it was a bit quick, but after Charlo knocked down Harrison twice in the round and then was on the ropes not returning fire, I concur with referee Jack Neiss' decision. I hope and expect they will do it again.”
“Who won the weekend? Julio Cesar Martinez with his capture of the WBC flyweight belt with a 9th round knockout of Cristofer Rosales,” said Rachel McCarson, analyst (see below). “He avenged his previous loss of the title that came about due to a technicality, giving fans a brief, but exciting, comeback story to cheer on. I’m not an avid watcher of the flyweight division, but I’m all about watching Martinez from here on out.”
“Outside of the expected answer of Jermell Charlo, who reclaimed his WBC Super Welterweight Championship from previous champion Tony Harrison, let us not forget that the “Miracle Man” Daniel Jacobs, a 2x middleweight world champion, stepped up in weight, and defeated the son of a legend in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.,” said Xavier Porter of Brooklyn Fights and Facebook Fightnight Live. “Not only did Jacobs defeat Chavez Jr in a quick, tough, five-round fight, but he entered and left the ring with class. He entered the ring with the complete understanding that his opponent was coming into the fight, bigger and heavier. Jacobs also represented his dear friend, one of boxing's (sport) and journalist's (writers) toughest lives to document after his casualty in the ring: Patrick Day. Jacobs did so, even after being pelted with debris, food, beer cans, etc; and after Gabe Rosado pulled that stunt before his fight. R.I.P Patrick Day!”
“Charlo and boxing won the weekend,” said boxer/analyst Tommy Rainone. “Winning a nip and tuck affair in what was a candidate for fight of the year. Also doing so on prime-time Fox, he got his name out to the masses who were not familiar with him and greatly raised his profile. Excellent two way action all night but as good as Harrison performed Charlo refused for be denied.”
“Tommy nailed it with his response and weekend winner pick,” said analyst Brendan Long. “Charlo recaptures his belt and avenges his only professional loss on national primetime television. Great win for Charlo. Rene Giron has to grab honorable mention honors. The unranked Giron knocked down Olympian and highly touted prospect Carlos Balderas twice on free TV in a thrilling bout that included a series of low blows that would make a eunuch cringe. Giron was coming off of a loss on Shobox and was supposed to be a stepping stone for Balderas. Giron had other plans and fought hard from bell to bell. Great TV fight.”
“Referee Jack Reiss won the weekend,” said Josh Friedman of SiriusXM. “An absolutely perfect stoppage in an all-time classic of a fight (Charlo-Harrison 2).”
“Proud of my countryman, Liam Williams' effort this weekend,” said Wales' Anson Wainwright of RING. “I was intrigued going in how he would deal with the size and reach of Alantez Fox. He dealt with it expertly and won with ease. It was also nice to get a siting of Errol Spence Jr. from his point of view good to see him and looking pretty decent all things considering. However, I have to give the nod to Jermell Charlo, many thought he was losing – he was actually up on two of the cards – but he hung in, showed his iron will and stout chin and found a way to stop Tony Harrison when he needed to.”
Two picks from Emily Pandelakis, publicist. “Danny Jacobs – made an extra million for his trouble…and the kid that fought Carlos Balderas… Rene Giron… Got the house fighter out after a gift of an 8 count by Ray Corona.”
“He had to wait a year for a chance to regain his title, but Jermell Charlo made the most of it,” said fight writer Jeremy Herriges. “Tony Harrison outboxed Charlo in 2018 and was doing a decent job of it this past weekend, but Charlo found a little something extra. He stepped up his activity level, aggression, and punch variety. Charlo's left hook was destructive, and arguably his best punch followed closely by his left uppercut. Harrison hit the canvas three times, and the bout had to be stopped. With the WBC super welterweight title around Charlo's waist again, he easily won the weekend.”
Who won the weekend, Matt Andrzejewski, fight writer? “Julio Cesar Martinez. He announced himself on the world stage with his destruction of Cristofer Rosales to win a flyweight world title. Martinez once again proved to be a fan friendly skilled fighter and should get many big fight opportunities in the future.”
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