By Keith Idec
Tony Harrison is still rehabilitating his surgically repaired right ankle.
It’s only been a month since Harrison had his torn ligaments fixed and the WBC super welterweight champion is trying to remain patient. Harrison figures he’ll be able to run by this time next month and should be able to reschedule his rematch with Jermell Charlo soon thereafter.
“This fight is still gonna happen in 2019,” Harrison told BoxingScene.com, before delivering a message to Charlo. “Nobody’s scared of you. Nobody’s running from you. I’m not a part of your entourage. I’m not a part of your crew that suck your d*ck and I’m scared of you. You know, I’m here for all the smoke, you know? I’m here for everybody. All them guys that been on my Instagram, talking all that sh*t, I’m here for all the smoke. I’m here. … I’m not running from nobody. I’m here for all the smoke.”
Detroit’s Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) and Houston’s Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) were supposed to fight again June 23 in Las Vegas. Harrison had to withdraw from their second bout just three weeks in advance due to his ankle injury.
Harrison instead watched from ringside as Charlo demolished Mexico’s Jorge Cota (28-4, 25 KOs) by third-round knockout at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Charlo contended prior to knocking out Cota that Harrison had faked his injury. Harrison laughed off Charlo’s claim.
“I think him and his team know that I don’t like this mother***a,” said Harrison, who upset Charlo by unanimous decision December 22 in at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “I think him and his team know that deep down in my heart, I swear to God, on my mamma and my kids, I wanted to fight [June 23]. But my brother and my dad told me, you know, ‘It’s not in our best interests to do it. You’re f***ed up right now.’ And I was gonna push through it, like fighters do, because I wanted to fight so bad. And I didn’t wanna pull out, not only for me, but for the fans that bought their tickets and all the guys from Detroit that wanted to come out and support.
“But the all honesty of it is, had I lost, I would’ve been disowned from Detroit and they wouldn’t have gave a f*** about my ankle. So, you know, I had to do the right thing for my team, the right thing for us, to keep the belt in the city of Detroit, to say, you know, ‘We’re not healthy.’ You know, my best attribute is being an athlete, is being agile. You know, if I’m not able to move how I wanna move in the mother***in’ ring, I’m just a sitting target. I’m Jorge Cota.”
Had Harrison fought Charlo anyway and lost, he feels he would’ve been treated like Manny Pacquiao if he had used his injured ankle as an excuse. Pacquiao pointed to a pre-existing shoulder injury after he lost a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather in May 2015, but the Filipino icon was widely criticized for it.
“I showed everybody like it’s OK to not go into a fight a hundred percent, and pull out of the motherf***a,” Harrison said. “You know what I’m saying? I think I showed everybody that sometimes that’s what you gotta do, you know, to be a hundred [percent]. Like for me, I just know Charlo couldn’t beat me at a hundred percent. So, I wouldn’t go into the fight 50 percent, because nobody would give a f*** about my ankle if I’d have lost and I say, ‘Oh, well my ankle was f***d up.’
“It’s the same thing as Pacquiao and Floyd. Pacquiao said his shoulder was injured, but nobody gave a f*** because you stepped in the ring. You know what I mean? So, I just showed everybody that, you know, it’s OK. You know what I mean? I still got the belt. Everything still goes through me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.