After more than eight rounds of tepid, one-sided action, Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) closed the show at Barclays Center with an impressive TKO of Sergey Rabchenko (27-2, 20 KOs).
Harrison, who claimed to “lure him [Rabchenko] to sleep” in a post-fight interview, clocked his Belarusian opponent with a straight right to the head, prompting a stoppage from referee Arthur Mercante Jr.
Harrison’s victory positions him for a shot at the IBF Junior Middleweight title against Jermall Charlo.
The 26-year-old Charlo currently has a fight booked against Julian Williams for October 1, and most recently defeated Austin Trout via decision in May of this year.
Harrison’s sudden TKO made up for an otherwise lackluster bout; Rabchenko was unable to cut corners or reach Harrison for much of the fight, much to the chagrin of his promoter/trainer Ricky Hatton.
Just as the fight began to appear more competitive, Rabchenko landed to the body in Round 7–leading to Harrison complaining about a questionable low blow–Harrison tagged Rabchenko with a compact right hand to end the contest.
Whereas Sergey Rabchenko’s future appears in doubt, Harrison cemented his place in a competitive division with a career-best finish.
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
Milo Taibi is a freelance journalist from Brooklyn, NY. His work has been featured in SLAM Magazine, Complex, Yahoo! Sports, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MiloTaibi.