IBF Jr. Middleweight world champion Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) returns to action this Saturday. He will be looking for his fourth successful title defense when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs).
Their scheduled contest takes place at Barclays Center and will air live on Fox.
Tony Harrison has always possessed the skill necessary to become a world champion. That much is evident as he dominated former champion Ishe Smith in his last bout. Forget the fact that he only won by split decision, it was a dominant performance by Harrison. He is a true boxer puncher. He has the ability to box circles around his opposition, but he can also end the fight at any time.
The problem for Harrison has always been his chin and lack of stamina. Both of his losses occurred in eerily similar fashion. He was stopped by both Willie Nelson and Jarrett Hurd in the ninth round of each contest.
It was the same script for Harrison as he was in complete control during the early rounds but his stamina failed him and he subsequently stopped while ahead on the scorecards. For as talented as Harrison is those flaws, if not corrected, will be exposed against someone the caliber of Jermell Charlo.
The aforementioned Charlo has always been a very good boxer, but as of late he has been taking the judges out of the equation by knocking out four of his last five opponents.
His most recent knockout came of the spectacular variety when he took out the highly touted and former ESPN prospect of the year, Erickson Lubin in the very first round. Many viewed it as a 50/50 bout, but Charlo proved to be levels above him.
Both Charlo and Harrison won’t be lacking in the motivation department. Harrison has won his last three fights in a row and will be looking to grab his first world title. Charlo on the other hand has his eyes set on big fights down the road. A matchup with unified champion Jarrett Hurd will take place next year if they both continue to win. First he must take care of Harrison. Seeing how Hurd stopped Harrison in their matchup, Jermell will be looking to one up him.
For those that are dismissing this as an easy bout for the champion might want to rethink that notion. The biggest obstacles for Harrison have been has inability to keep up his pace for an entire fight. When he matched up with Ishe Smith however he stood up in between rounds seemingly indicating that his stamina issues are behind him.
If Harrison has truly gotten past those issues then an upset could be in play here. If not, then Charlo could make this a quick nights work.