Even with their past history, there was something different about Jermell Charlo this time around.
Tony Harrison just couldn’t quite place what it was about the junior middleweight whose title he wrested a year ago, but plans to use it to his full advantage when they meet again.
“He’s one of the softest dudes I have ever seen in my life,” Harrison (28-2, 21KOs) told BoxingScene.com of his longtime rival shortly after yet another contentious press conference with Charlo.
The two were back in Los Angeles to formally announce their rescheduled rematch, which takes place Dec. 21 live on Fox from the Toyota Arena (nee Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario, California. The bout comes exactly 52 weeks to the day of their first meeting, in which Detroit’s Harrison claimed a disputed 12-round decision win to hand Houston’s Charlo (32-1, 16KOs) his lone career defeat.
A rematch was planned for this past June, only for Harrison to suffer torn ligaments in his ankle which required surgery. Charlo went through with the planned June 23 fight date, scoring a knockout win over late replacement Jorge Cota in Las Vegas. Nevada.
Harrison was ringside for event and has spent the interim just waiting on a new date for their old rivalry. As time passed on, it became clear that the man he beat has now become a man who’s failed to let go of the past.
“That could be it,” Harrison wondered, upon the suggestion that Charlo being stripped of his title status has also taken a piece of his identity. “Honestly, I just thought he had little man syndrome. But maybe that’s it, he feels like the only thing about him that mattered has been taken away from him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox