ONTARIO, California – Jermell Charlo would welcome a third fight against Tony Harrison at some point.
The two-time WBC super welterweight champion even considers the potential completion of their trilogy worthy of headlining a pay-per-view show. Charlo discussed the possibility of a third fight with Harrison at a post-fight press conference Saturday night, after his 11th-round, technical-knockout win at Toyota Arena.
“I know probably a big question is would you do a trilogy?,” Charlo said. “Take that sh-t to pay-per-view. This could’ve easily been pay-per-view. You know what I mean? And Ontario did great. They showed up. FOX did an amazing job promoting, and all of the things we seen.”
Neither Charlo nor Harrison has headlined a pay-per-view show. FOX aired each of the two Charlo-Harrison fights.
Both bouts were closely contested. Their rematch, which wasn’t viewed as a potential pay-per-view event, was a more entertaining, fan-friendly fight than their initial meeting.
If Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) and Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) were to fight a third time, it’s highly unlikely that their rubber match would happen next. Charlo is expected to pursue a 154-pound title unification fight with Julian Williams if Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) successfully defends his IBF, IBO and WBA titles against Jeison Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs) on January 18 in Philadelphia.
The first meeting between Charlo and Harrison resulted in Harrison upsetting Charlo by unanimous decision almost exactly a year before Saturday night.
Detroit’s Harrison was an 8-1 underdog entering their 12-round encounter at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He beat Charlo on all three scorecards (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) and took the WBC 154-pound crown from the Houston native.
An immediate rematch was scheduled for June 23 in Las Vegas. Harrison withdrew from that fight three weeks earlier due to an ankle injury, which caused nearly a six-month postponement.
Harrison’s one-year layoff was the longest break of his career. He still fought well Saturday night in what was a very competitive rematch.
Charlo dropped Harrison with a left hook late in the second round. Harrison recovered, however, and was ahead on one scorecard entering the 11th round (95-94).
Two judges had Charlo in front by the same score, 96-93, through 10 rounds.
Charlo knocked down Harrison twice in the 11th round, the first time with a left hook, then with a combination of a left hook, left uppercut and overhand right. Harrison got up from that last knockdown, but referee Jack Reiss stopped the action once Charlo unloaded several power punches when a staggered Harrison was backed against the ropes.
Reiss ended the fight 2:28 into the 11th round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.