Just as they disagreed on the actual outcome of their first fight, Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo are on opposite ends in determining the outcome of their upcoming sequel.
The pair of contentious junior middleweight rivals have argued on every imaginable topic ahead of their Dec. 21 title fight rematch, which will air live on Fox from the Toyota Arena (nee Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario, California. The bout comes 52 weeks to the day of their first fight, where Detroit’s Harrison claimed a contested 12-round decision to end Charlos’ 2½ year stay as an unbeaten titlist.
Part two comes six months later than expected, as Harrison suffered an ankle injury forcing him out of their previously scheduled June 23 date in Las Vegas. Charlo (32-1, 16KOs) proceeded with the date, with the former titlist from Houston taking out late replacement Jorge Cota in three rounds.
The insistence on the end of the incoming challenger is to expect a similar outcome on Dec. 21.
“Sleep cold, just like Cota,” Charlo guaranteed when asked for a prediction during their heated PBC Face To Face: Harrison vs. Charlo II segment which aired over the weekend on various Fox Sports platforms. “Just like everyone else you watched me put to sleep.”
His lone career conqueror was quick to point out the math doesn’t support the claim.
“You fought 33 guys,” noted Harrison (28-2, 21KOs), who attempts the first defense of the title he claimed in his upset win one year ago. “That’s less than 50 (percent).”
As it doesn’t take much to start an argument between the two, Charlo was quick to critique the 21 opponents Harrison has finished off inside the distance.
“We can go into your BoxRec and find out who you really slept,” claimed Charlo. “Look at their records. They never gave me an easy fight. Who you fought? Who you beat? I’m the real champ. I’m the real champ.”
Technically, that no longer rings true—and Harrison knows it.
“I took that. I took that sh-t,” Harrison reminded his longtime bitter divisional rival. “I beat you, that’s all I care about. I beat you and I’m gonna beat yo’ ass again, 100%!”
When pressed to specify the means of victory, the defending titlist promised an upgrade from the original.
“I am gonna dominate this sucker,” vowed Harrison, who has won four straight since a knockout loss to Jarrett Hurd in his first title attempt nearly three years ago. “Every round I’m gonna dominate him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox