A year ago, one of the upsets of the year took place at the Barclays Center as Tony Harrison handed Jermell Charlo his first defeat and took the WBC super welterweight title away from him. Charlo had waited a long time before he got the chance to get it back. On Saturday night, he went through a tough fight before closing the show.
Charlo stopped Harrison in the 11th round to regain the WBC title at the Toyota Arena in Carson, California and avenge his loss that took place 12 months ago. His record is now 33-1 and now has registered the 17th knockout victory of his career. Harrison was defeated for the second time in a title fight, as he lost to Jarrett Hurd in 2017 for the IBF title.
This fight started with Harrison trying to execute his strategy that he felt won him the bout last year – lead with the jab and make Charlo respect it. He used that jab early and tried to keep Charlo from getting too close to him to throw power shots. It was working well up until the 2nd round where Harrison and Charlo traded shots up close. A two punch combination by Charlo put Harrison down and gave him an early lead in the fight.
However, Harrison stayed patient and stuck with his plan of working off the jab. For a series of rounds he was successful with that and also adding in a few body shots and right hands to gain momentum through the 3rd and 8th rounds. Charlo at the time was focusing on landing a counter shot but allowed Harrison to be the busier fighter and at times walk him down. There were spots where Harrison was so confident in what he was doing in the ring that he was showboating to the crowd.
In the 9th round, Charlo seemed to be more patient and not look for the big shot. Once he calmed down and started to throw the jab, he was having more success landing on Harrison than in the previous rounds. That got Harrison to tire a little bit, but not to the point where Harrison stopped doing what he had been doing the entire fight. It wasn’t until the 11th round where Harrison got caught the same way that he was caught in the 2nd round for Charlo to fully take the fight back in his favor. Referee Jack Reiss gave Harrison a count before he got up, and then Charlo went on the attack once again.
Charlo hurt Harrison badly when Harrison was on the ropes, and Harrison went down once again while Reiss was stepping in, Charlo thought that the bout was over, but Reiss was giving Harrison the standard eight count which meant the fight would continue. After another flurry by Charlo, Reiss stepped in and stopped the bout.
“I got the belt back and I didn’t leave it up to the judges,” a jubilant Charlo said after the fight. “I went in there and I did what I had to do. I went in there, I dictated, I dominated, and I knocked him out.”
The power of Charlo was a key factor leading into this fight, and it showed in the 2nd and 11th rounds as his right hand hurt Harrison and led to the knockdowns. Charlo attributed his win to that power. “It let him know that the power was real and 2020 is going to be real,” Charlo said.
Next year could have Charlo facing unified champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams in what would be the biggest fight in the division. Williams has an upcoming bout against Jeison Rosario in Philadelphia, and a win would open the door for the bout between Williams and Charlo. When that topic was brought up, Charlo was eager to give his answer.
“I’m down for whatever makes history,” he said.
Cover photo by Premier Boxing Champions