In one of the biggest, if not the biggest upset of the year, Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) defeated Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The scorecards were 116-112 once and two of 115-113 all in favor of Harrison.
It was a close contest throughout as Harrison boxed well all night and stayed away from getting in to long exchanges with the dangerous former champion. Charlo, to his credit, fought a good fight. He seemingly boxed well throughout the fight and visibly had Harrison stunned throughout the contest.
In Round 11, Charlo had his man pinned against the ropes and ripped off a series of punches but Harrison managed to weather the storm and let off a few shots of his own. In the final round Charlo again had his man hurt and in trouble. Unfortunately for him he was unable to close the show.
Many will scream robbery, but Harrison fought a good fight and bought a terrific game plan to the table. To Harrison’s credit his lack of stamina issues did not affect him in this bout as it has in the past. Charlo simply had too low of a punch output which lead to him suffering the first loss of his career.
After the contest, Charlo was emphatic that he not only won the contest but that he also will regain his belt. He also still wants a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd who was sitting at ringside.
“They took that fight from me. I was pressing the action,” said Charlo after the contest. “He didn’t win that fight. I’m going to get my belts back. I still want Jarrett Hurd. I know my brother knows I won that fight. I might have given away a few rounds, but I won that fight.”
Harrison on the other hand was adamant that he did more than enough to win the contest.
“I dictated the pace. That’s what champions do,” said Harrison in the ring after the fight. “He wound up for big shots and I kept my defense tight. All we worked on was defense. I kept my composure and I did what champions do. I’m blessed. I told y’all, my family, everyone. He’s a great champion. I’ve seen him in the gym. He’s a hell of a champion. I used my ring generalship.”
A rematch between these two is not out of the realm of possibility. It might even be likely at this point.
“Jermell, you gave me a shot. I’ll give you a rematch,” said Harrison.
With most observers split between who actually won a rematch might be what’s needed between these two. For now, Harrison can enjoy his victory. He is officially a world champion.