Tony Harrison and Bryant Perrella did not make things easy on each other or the judges.
A competitive and entertaining junior middleweight fight that could’ve gone either way on the scorecards ultimately did just that, with Harrison and Perrella fighting to a 12-round split decision draw. Harrison won by a score of 116-112 on the card of judge Max DeLuca, while Dr. Lou Moret had the contest 117-111 in favor of Perrella. A 114-114 verdict turned in by judge Zachary Young failed to split the difference in the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox main event from Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Despite the varying scorecards in favor of either boxer, the three judges managed to agree on 7 of the 12 rounds scored—including Perrella sweeping the 12th and final round to avoid a loss.
Perrella (17-3-1, 14KOs) was awarded the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 12th rounds on all three scorecards. Harrison (28-3-1, 21KOs) swept the 1st, 7th and 8th rounds.
All seven rounds featured similar trends for both boxers. Harrison was the more accurate in each of the aforementioned rounds despite the marginal difference in landed punches according to Compubox. Perrella was by far the more active of the two in the rounds unanimously ruled in his favor, including his throwing a fight-high 84 punches each in rounds two and three.
Overall, Perrella landed 150-of-692 total punches (21.7%), while Harrison landed 138-of-453 total punches at a higher percentage (30.5).
Harrison also won the battle of the jabs according to Compubox, landing 60-of-282 (21.3%) compared to 32-of-296 (10.8%) for Perrella, who was fighting for the first time at junior middleweight after moving up from the 147-pound division.
Judges DeLuca and Moret disagreed on all five remaining rounds. Similarly, judges Moret and Young only agreed on one of the five rounds that weren’t swept by either fighter. DeLuca and Young were in agreement on 10 of the 12 rounds scored.
Perrella led 29-28 on all three scorecards after three rounds. The Florida-bred southpaw never again led on the scorecard of DeLuca, pulling even after the 4th, 6th and 12th rounds. He was ahead for the entire fight from round three onward according to judge Moret who had Perrella sweeping rounds 2-7 and rounds 10-12.
Harrison swept rounds 7-11 on the scorecard of DeLuca, who only found two rounds (6th and 12th) to score in favor of Perrella from round four onward.
Judge DeLuca was on his own in scoring the 5th and 10th in favor of Harrison. On the other end, judge Moret was the only judge who had Perrella winning the 4th, 7th and 11th rounds.
Judge Young was in agreement with at least one other judge in all 12 rounds.
Statistically, Harrison was the more accurate puncher in nine of the 12 rounds though only winning five of those rounds on at least two scorecards.
Perrella threw more total punches in every round but the 9th, outthrowing Harrison by 10 or more punches in nine of the 12 rounds. Perrella outlanded the former WBC junior middleweight titlist in the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 12th rounds, though landing just one more punch in the 7th and 12th rounds.
Harrison never attempted 50 punches in any round, surpassing 40 in just four rounds. Perrella only failed to reach 40 punches thrown in just one round—the 9th, which Harrison swept and additionally pulled ahead on two of the three scorecards.
Stylistically, Perrella made the adjustments necessary to avoid the disastrous—and controversial—ending suffered in his 10th round stoppage loss to Abel Ramos last February in Nashville, Tennessee. The 32-year-old from Fort Myers, Florida enlisted the services of former four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. as his head trainer, having spent the past few months in the future Hall of Famer’s training headquarters in Pensacola, Florida.
Detroit’s Harrison was fighting for the first time since suffering an 11th round stoppage to Jermell Charlo to lose the WBC junior middleweight title in their Dec. 2019 rematch. The fight came one year after Harrison outpointed Charlo to win the WBC belt in Dec. 2018. As was the case with his opponent, Harrison was working with a new head trainer—his older brother Lloyd who stepped up in place of their father Ali Salaam who passed away last April.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox