Tim Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) looked Golovkin-esque with his ninth knockout of Tony Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday night to win the WBO interim junior middleweight title at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
The way that the powerful Tszyu applied contact pressure on Harrison, hitting him with heavy shots, was like watching a young Gennadiy Golovkin. Tszyu made it a fun fight to watch.
Harrison started off quick, outboxing Tszyu in the first couple of rounds, but the Detroit native was hurt by a right hand from Tim in round three. From there, it was the beginning of the end for Harrison.
Tszyu slowly ground Harrison down with his heavy power shots, hitting him to the head and body and cutting off the ring to force him to fight. Harrison was running to try and escape in each round, but he couldn’t.
In the ninth round, Tszyu finished off Harrison, knocking him down with a blizzard of shots. After Harrison got back up, the fight was halted. The time of the stoppage was at 2:43 of the ninth.
Preview: Tony Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) and Tim Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) put it all on the line tonight as they do battle, trying to punch their tickets to fight undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. The Tszyu vs. Harrison fight will be shown by Showtime in a rare one-fight broadcast at 10:45 p.m. ET/7:45 p.m. PT from the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Interestingly, Jermell Charlo will be part of Showtime’s broadcast team tonight, so fans in the U.S. can hear his observations about the Tszyu-Harrison clash.
The young gun Tszyu is the betting favorite to win tonight, but he’s going up against arguably the best boxer in the 154-lb division in former WBC junior middleweight champion Harrison.
We don’t know how much Harrison has left at this point in his career, as the combination of inactivity, age, and ring wear have caused his boxing skills to erode.
Harrison hasn’t done himself any favors by electing to fight just twice in the last four years. Only he knows why he’s stopped frequently fighting after his 11th round knockout loss to Jermell Charlo in their rematch in December 2019.
It could be that fighting for smaller paydays than he’s been accustomed to getting wasn’t his cup of tea. We see that sometimes with former champions.
Once they’re dethroned, they can’t wrap their heads around taking pay cuts to return to being just a regular challenger, making lesser money.
“Tony Harrison out-boxes Tim Tszyu; although I think Tim Tszyu is a good boxer and a huge puncher, I think Tony Harrison is one of the best-skilled boxers in boxing,” said Carson Mertz to the Porterway Podcast about tonight’s Tim Tszyu vs. Tony Harrison fight on Showtime.
“The chin, that’s a huge factor [negatively impacting the 32-year-old Harrison]. Tim Tszyu clearly has power.”
“Tony used to have this deceptive power where he would throw a right hand that would stun guys and put them down, and they wouldn’t get up,” said Shawn Porter about how Tony Harrison used to score a lot of knockouts and showed more power than what we’ve seen from him as he’s aged.
“It was the same thing when he would throw hooks and sleep guys. I think with age and maturity, that stinging power isn’t what it used to be,” said Porter about the 32-year-old Harrison, who hasn’t scored a knockout in five years since 2018.
“I think Tim is the guy with the deceptive power. He’s not crazy fast, not crazy explosive where you just know if that punch lands [you’re in trouble]. He has this deceptive power, it thumps, and he’s able to hurt guys.
“I think it’s going to be an interesting fight because Tony is going to box, and he’s going to line up the right hand. Hopefully, he’s not gunshy, and he lets it rip because if he lets it rip, Tim could walk into something. If he doesn’t walk into something now, he’s going to be put on notice that Tony is here to fight, and then it becomes an interesting fight. On paper, this is a fight for Tim to win,” said Porter.
“Credit to Tim for taking this fight with Tony because he was supposed to fight Jermell Charlo, and then Jermell gets hurt. Tszyu could have waited for Charlo to come back, or he could have taken a much lesser opponent than Tony Harrison. Kudos to him,” said Mertz.
“That’s what I mean. It’s designed to make Tim Tszyu vs. Jermell Charlo more interesting,” said Porter. “If Tim takes out Tony, the narrative there is there’s a little more to talk about.
“Right now, you have him there as the son of a great fighter; you have him being an Australian fighter. You want the [Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison] trilogy.”
“You look at the first two fights with Charlo and Tony. In the first fight, Harrison out-boxes him,” said Mertz. “I had Harrison winning the second fight, and then all of a sudden, his chin didn’t hold up, and it kind of was what it was.”