On Saturday night, December 22nd, Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) meets Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, and live on FOX. This is actually a better fight than most people are giving it credit for. There’s no sure thing here; there never is. However, this is intriguing from a clash of styles perspective. There are definitely ways for each fighter to defeat the other.
In the past, the Houston based boxer, Jermell Charlo was more of a boxer under his previous trainer, Ronnie Shields; but lately, he has tried to become more of a knockout artist like his brother Jermall, under new trainer Derrick James. However, it doesn’t look like Charlo has been able to find the right balance between boxing and being aggressive. He has all the tools to be either type of fighter, but if he finds a balance between the two styles and becomes more patient, it seems that he could be almost unbeatable. He has great stamina which will help him in this upcoming fight and that could be the deciding factor.
If Charlo is patient, he should come away with the victory. In recent fights, especially since switching trainers, he’s been looking for one big punch to end the fight. He telegraphs a lot of his punches, which he can’t afford to do against a guy like Harrison who has dynamite punching power in his right. Charlo needs to be more fluid, sticking and moving, staying away from Harrison’s right hand. He needs to box and inject some of that aggression when needed. If he makes Harrison work, controls the pace and can drag the fight past the sixth or seventh round, I think Charlo scores a KO or TKO.
Across the ring, will be the Detroit native, Tony Harrison, who possess a good jab, and a lot of power in his right hand. His big problem is no secret in the boxing world, which is his stamina. Historically, Tony begins to fade starting around the fifth or sixth round. He likes to move around the ring, and box, but the extent to which he moves is unnecessary. He gasses out as a result.
If Harrison goes to the body early against Charlo, stays in the pocket, and moves just enough, similar to the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did throughout his career while finding a way to consistently counter to Charlo’s body with his right hand and uppercut, Tony should make this a competitive fight. The body shots will take their toll, allowing him to slow down Charlo and control the pace of the fight
Another area of concern for Tony Harrison is his defense. He doesn’t have the strongest defensive skill set and sometimes he gets caught with shots that he should be able to avoid. He drops his hands frequently, and at times exposes his chin – perhaps he gets complacent or it’s just a bad habit that he can’t shake.
So here are the keys for Charlo to win:
- Box smart, be patient, pick spots to be aggressive, do not look for the big shot all fight.
- Make Harrison work, make him move, do not let him stay in the pocket
- Go to the body, mix up combos, use left hook, body, then upstairs with left, mix in the uppercut.
The keys for Harrison to win:
- Stay in the pocket, stick and move, use feints, and control the the pace early.
- While in the pocket use his reach advantage to keep Charlo honest.
- GO TO THE BODY EARLY! We know Harrison has stamina issues, so go to the body and nullify Charlo’s stamina advantage.
- Use his reach advantage and jab, come over the top with the right and work in the uppercut in.
- Most importantly, box smart and don’t allow Charlo to set the pace.
- He has to make it his fight, his pace, and if he doesn’t gas out, Harrison has a good chance to pull off upset.
Fight Prediction: Charlo by KO or TKO between rounds 7 to 10.
Charlo has too much momentum at this stage in his career. He is learning and getting better and better every fight. He just needsto figure his identity as a boxer, and what the right mix is between boxing and aggression. Harrison isa very talented fighter that is capable of winning, but his stamina or lack thereof will let him down. He will be a sitting duck in the middle rounds and Charlo will be able to capitalize off of that.
Be sure to tune into Fox at 8PM ET for all of the live action from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York!