BETHLEHEM, PA. - In the opening bout of the Showtime telecast, middleweight contender Tony Harrison looked impressive in a sixth round TKO over former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero.
Harrison (23-1, 19 KOs) was the aggressor from the outset, jabbing at range to set up his favorite weapon - a powerful right. The Detroit native floored Guerrero with a big right with 15 seconds to go in the second round. The southpaw got up, but looked hurt and was saved by the bell.
Guerrero (28-4, 20 KOs) had his moments in the fourth and fifth rounds after some heedful advice from his corner, but he couldn't get inside to escape Harrison's powerful right. It was a clean left hook midway through the sixth that ultimately finished Guerrero. After Harrison dropped Guerrero with the left, the Dominican Republic native beat the count but had no legs and went back to the canvas after four more consecutive shots from Harrison, forcing referee Gary Rosato to stop the bout at 1:56 of the sixth.
"I threw punches back and I finished the rounds stronger than him," said Harrison, who landed 57 percent of his power shots. "I dominated the fight. My dad kept telling me to put the hook behind the right hand and if I had listened to him better I could have gotten the knockout much quicker.
"I was backing him up. My game plan was to take advantage of the fact that southpaws don't fight well going backwards. I tried to just keep putting him back and discouraging him. I told everyone I was taking the fight to him. What's not to like about me? I'm exciting.
"I want big fights, I want to go back to Detroit and I want the Willie Nelson rematch."
Said Guerrero: "I wasn't on today. He wasn't faster than me, stronger than me or more skilled. I just locked up. I wasn't listening to my corner, I didn't do anything tonight.
"It just happens. Sometimes you have a bad day. Today was as bad as I could ever imagine.
"We'll go back to the drawing board. I didn't do what I was supposed to do. We trained so hard. He wasn't as fast or strong as we thought he'd be. Today was a bad day for me to have a bad day."