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Tim Tszyu calmly breaks down Tony Harrison to impressive ninth-round stoppage

Tim Tszyu
Fighters Network
11
Mar

Tim Tszyu calmly and clinically wore down former WBC 154-pound titleholder Tony Harrison to an impressive ninth-round stoppage on Saturday before a packed Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.

Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) was originally set to challenge Jermell Charlo but the undisputed junior middleweight champion suffered an injury to his left hand in training. In stepped Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs), who has split two fights with Charlo in 2018 and 2019. Harrison, a battle-tested veteran from Detroit, outpointed Charlo in their first meeting and was fiercely competitive in the rematch before getting clipped in Round 11.

Harrison was competitive in all of his previous losses, but not against Tszyu, the 27-year-old son of hall of famer Kostya Tszyu.

Tszyu conceded the jab to the ring savvy 32-year-old, who clearly won the opening round with a quick-and-busy left stick, but the younger man was confident that his careful pressure and economical power punching would overwhelm Harrison inside of 12 rounds. Tszyu, who landed more power punches in every round, was correct.

Observers will compare Tszyu’s steely focus and systematic beatdown of a formidable foe to the many elite performances that his father exhibited at junior welterweight in the late 1990s/early 2000s, but it’s clear that the son wants to establish his own legacy.

“What’s my mother f__king name!?” Tszyu yelled immediately after the bout.

When asked if he wanted to send a message to Charlo, who was part of Showtime’s commentating panel analyzing the fight for U.S. audiences, Tszyu answered: “The message was sent already, I’m coming to America. Say my mother f__king name!”

Harrison, The Ring’s No. 4-rated junior middleweight, was gracious in defeat.

“I trained hard for this,” he said. “The better man won tonight. He’ll go onto bigger and better things.”

Charlo was not impressed, claiming that it was a typical performance from Tszyu, The Ring’s No. 3-rated junior middleweight.

“I’m a different animal in there. He would have to bring more dog against me,” Charlo said from the U.S. studio.

What Tszyu brought against Harrison was patience, poise, pacing, ring cutting ability, intelligent counter-punching and power shot selection. He was never in a rush but he was always stalking or in the face of the quick-jabbing Harrison, who was crafty with his right cross. Tszyu rocked Harrison into the ropes in Round 3 but didn’t go for the kill.

Harrison remained game and resilient so the slow bleed continued as Tszyu added accurate body shots to his methodical attack. Harrison bravely went toe to toe with Tszyu in Round 8 but he was stunned and staggered into the ropes by a series of right hands and uppercuts in Round 9. Harrison was dropped to the seat of his trucks and made it to his unsteady feet, willing to continue, but referee Danrex Tapdasan waved the fight off.

The official judges had Tszyu ahead by unanimous scores of 77-75 after eight rounds. Showtime’s unofficial judge Steve Farhood had Tszyu up 79-73 at the time of the stoppage. The Ring had the same scorecard.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live most Sundays.

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