Tony Harrison was eager to run things back with Jermell Charlo. But with the Detroit native coming off a split-decision draw against Bryant Perrella, he was forced to head to the back of the line. Although he would eventually bounce back from his lackluster showing, scoring a lopsided victory vs. Sergio Garcia, Tim Tszyu had first dibs on Charlo’s undisputed throne.

Initially, the two were scheduled to get it on at the tail end of January in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, those plans were scrapped when it was discovered that Charlo suffered a broken left hand.

Ultimately, Charlo’s misfortune opened up the door for Harrison. With Tszyu and Harrison lacking suitable dance partners, the two hammered out a deal, one that saw them clash on March 12th, in Australia.

While he doesn’t always flip on his television set to watch the fights, Derrick James, Charlo’s trainer, made an exception. Seemingly motivated from the beginning, Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) would go on to break Harrison round after round, resulting in a stoppage victory in the ninth round.

James, the 2022 trainer of the year, wasn’t entirely surprised by Harrison’s shortcomings on the night. In three of his four career defeats, Harrison has been brutally stopped in the ninth frame. That alarming pattern, coupled with what James believes were two brutal wars with Charlo, and he concludes that while Harrison may walk and talk the same outside of the ring, inside of it, he simply isn’t the same.

“Tony has a tendency to die out a little bit,” said James on The PorterWay Podcast Clips. "And I think that he hasn't been the same fighter, unfortunately, since he fought Jermell. I think those two fights were very hard, fighting back-to-back. A lot of times, fights like that take a lot out of you.”

Charlo, ironically enough, shared those exact same sentiments. As he continues to rehab his surgically repaired left hand, he’s stated that a showdown against Tszyu is likely to take place in the second half of the year.

Harrison, in the meanwhile, finds himself in boxing’s purgatory. All along, the 32-year-old has pushed forward with the notion that a matchup against Charlo is one that he craves above all else.

Now, with another stoppage loss plastered to his record, he admits that retirement has become a distinct possibility. Regardless of what Harrison ultimately decides to do, James wishes him nothing but the best. In a different world, if the talkative jokester had met up with Tszyu just a few short years prior, James believes that the outcome would have been something else entirely.

“A year or two earlier, before Jermell, it would've been different.”