By Lem Satterfield
Newly-crowned WBC 154-pound champion Tony Harrison vows to win a rematch with Jermell Charlo “even easier” than last month’s disputed unanimous decision victory that dethroned Charlo at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“I gave my word, and I stand by it, and I still stand by it. He gave me a shot at the title,” said Harrison of Charlo, who confirmed during their post-fight press conference that he planned to enforce an immediate rematch clause mandating a return bout within four months.
“If there’s a rematch clause, and he wants to do it again, I would love to do it again. Not only for his side, but for my legacy and for all of the people saying it’s controversy. I want to do it again, and I’m going to beat him again, and it’s going to be even easier the second time to beat him because I’m in his head now.”
Harrison’s comments were made during a recent episode of “Inside PBC Boxing” on FOX while being interviewed by two-time and WBC 147-pound champion Shawn Porter and three-division title winner Abner Mares, who serve as a lead analysts on the Premier Boxing Champions’ studio show.
Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) overcame his status as a 12-1 underdog against Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs), of Houston. Julie Lederman and Ron McNair each scored it 115-113, and Robin Taylor, 116-112, all for Harrison, who is angered at the notion that his skills weren't more widely appreciated.
A seething Harrison spoke to BoxingScene.com from his native Detroit on December 23 shortly after 1 p.m. –the day after his win and just moments after having completed a full review and critique of what he considers to be his defining moment at the home of a cousin.
“This was my first time watching the fight, and I swear I controlled everything about it and dominated that boy. I was dictating with my jab, giving him angles and there was a lot of subtle movement, like small steps to the right or left. My feints kept him off balance and flinching and more or less reacting,” said Harrison.
“Every time he tried to get something started, I would counter him with good counter shots or freeze him with the jab. I told everybody before the fight this was going to be one of those easy fights, and that I knew it wasn’t going to be what everybody thought it was gonna be. I felt like I controlled everything about the fight, that I looked like the champion, and I swear, today, I definitely 100 percent feel like the champion.”
The 6-foot-1 Harrison has won four straight since losing by ninth-round TKO to current IBF/WBA counterpart Jarrett Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) in an IBF vacant title fight in February 2017. Harrison’s previous three victories were a unanimous decision over Paul Valenzuela Jr. in October 2017, a fifth-round TKO over George Sosa in February 2018, and a 10-round split-decision victory over former champion Ishe Smith in May.
In relation to Charlo, Harrison told BoxingScene.com “I’ll leave that up to [their mutual advisor] Al [Haymon,] but like I told Jermell Charlo in the ring after the fight, I would give it [title shot] to him again.”
He was even more emphatic on “Inside PBC Boxing.”
“I wanna see it [a rematch,] too, and I want it just as bad as him. I’m gonna do it again,” said Harrison. “I’m gonna beat him, and the, you know, my next goal is unification time. I need Jarrett Hurd back. It’s simple. I need him back.”