In a back-and-forth title showdown, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) pulled off the upset to win a narrow unanimous decision over Jermell Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) and capture the WBC Super Welterweight Championship.
“I dictated the pace,” said Harrison. “That’s what champions do. 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.”
A unification fight between Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd went up in smoke as Tony Harrison beat Jermell Charlo via a unanimous decision to become the new WBC super welterweight champion.
The decision looked harsh on Charlo and I’m sure we will see the rematch in 2019. pic.twitter.com/1DGEwmFKfT
— BoxmanSteve (@SteveBoxman) December 23, 2018
Charlo expressed his disagreement with the judges’ decision after the fight. “They took that fight from me,” said Charlo. “I was pressing the action. He didn’t win that fight.”
Harrison was effective with his jab as he attempted to keep the power-punching Charlo at bay. Harrison landed his biggest punch of the fight in round five when a straight left appeared to temporarily stun Charlo.
Charlo was able to land several effective power punches throughout the 12 rounds, including an overhand right late in round five that wobbled Harrison. Round nine saw both men land significant shots, which lead to an exchange where Charlo urged Harrison to keep coming forward.
“I got back to my corner after every round and they told me to just keep doing what you’re doing,” said Harrison, “You’re dictating the pace they said. That’s what champions do. Champions don’t just try to knock people out. That’s all he wanted to do. I dictated it. I used my jab. I dictated the fight. That’s what champions do.”
Harrison was caught off balance in round 11 and again in round 12 by Charlo power punches, but was able to use his movement and hold at key times to survive both rounds. After 12 rounds of action the judges preferred Harrison’s jab, movement and counters to the forward-charging power punches of Charlo.
All three judges scored the fight for Harrison, by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 twice. Per CompuBox, Harrison connected on 34 percent of his punches throughout the fight to Charlo’s 29 percent clip, while Charlo out landed Harrison 160 to 128, plus a 108 to 71 advantage in power punches landed.
After the fight, Harrison indicated he would be willing to give Charlo a rematch while Charlo immediately stated his intention to get his belt back.
“Jermell – you gave me a shot – I’ll give you a rematch,” said Harrison.
“I’m going to get my belt back,” said Charlo. “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.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, top heavyweight contender Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) delivered a once-punch knockout victory over Carlos Negron (20-2, 16 KOs) in the ninth-round of their heavyweight showdown.
— PBC (@premierboxing) December 23, 2018
“I knew the big shot was coming, it was just a matter of time,” said Breazeale. “I was setting up that right hand all night. Since the third round I noticed he dropped his left hand when he took a step to the left, and that’s what I got him with.”
Breazeale started out slowly as Negron was able to score early with a lead left hook and an effective body attack. Breazeale stalked his opponent and threw power punches with some success before connecting on a huge right hand before the bell to end the fourth round.
“It’s been a long stretch since I’ve been in the ring,” said Breazeale. “I definitely worked off some ring rust, worked some great combinations and body shots, and finally got the knockout.”
The 2012 U.S. Olympian Breazeale had more success through the middle rounds, controlling the action with his jab and pressure that negated Negron’s offense. Midway through the ninth round, Breazeale caught Negron in the corner and connected on an overhand right that sent Negron crashing into the ropes.
Referee Arthur Mercante stopped the bout 1:37 into the ninth round. Breazeale, who is the mandatory challenger for heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, had a message for the champion, who was seated ringside.
“I’m next in line for Deontay Wilder and I’m coming for him,” said Breazeale. “I’ve been waiting for him and I did what I had to do tonight. I’m ready for him now.
— Le retour de BOXE Anglaise News (@RetourBoxe) December 23, 2018
“I know Wilder is here in the crowd. He came to watch. He knows I’m next. He better be holding on to that belt really tightly, because I’m coming. ‘Trouble’ is already here.”