Written by: Shawn Cross
Although Tim Tszyu had hoped to face Jermel Charlo for the undisputed World Junior Middleweight Championship, an injured Charlo had to walk out, making way for former world champion Tony Harrison to face the undefeated Tszyu instead. So. Both men certainly deserve credit for agreeing to go out on a Saturday night (American time) in Australia. Although the WBO interim middleweight belt was at stake, the loss could have been a serious step backwards for every man.
The jab of 29-3-1 Harrison told the first story. Tszyu’s 21-0 may have had his moments, but he simply wasn’t active all round. Tszyu got a better second round, though Harrison’s jab once again gave him the cut on the judge’s cards. Tszyu shook Harrison in third place. Harrison recovered well, but it was clear that Tszyu would be able to land a landing – which he did repeatedly at the end of the round.
Harrison gets a good fourth – thanks again to his jab. However, Tszyu was still able to land when he wanted to. He was clearly the stronger of the two men, plus Harrison was moving a lot while Tszyu was keeping his energy at a slow, steady, aggressive pace. Local star Tszyu started to set Harrison in fifth place. The American will have to make adjustments if he is going to win the fight. Harrison had a solid sixth…but he was looking to hit the corner between rounds.
The sharp and more energetic Harrison appears to take seventh place. The eighth pretty much presented the fight in microcosm – Harrison was faster and landed more. However, Tszyu was throwing hard shots, and the shots were clearly taking a toll on Harrison. Tszyu hit Harrison terribly in the ninth, hitting Harrison with his rights over and over until Harrison fell. The Detroit fighter bravely rose to his feet, but the referee, upon remark, cleverly stopped the fight.
“What’s my damn mother’s name??” exclaimed Tszyu in the post-fight interview. He is now in line to face Charlo for the undisputed middleweight title. The message was sent clearly. “You know what’s up,” he said. “You know what’s next. I’m coming. I’m coming to America.” No doubt Charlo would be ready to salute him.
“The better man won tonight,” Harrison said gently. “Tim, congratulations my boy.”
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