Tim Tszyu Dominates Harrison: Charlo Fight Boosted

Showtime unofficial judge and commentator Steve Farhood to paraphrase it said that the fans already wanted the Charlo versus Tszyu fight prior to this victory. But now that fight looks a whole lot better. Tim Tszyu put on a great performance in front of his hometown crowd in Australia to defeat former champion Tony Harrison in a 9th round technical knockout. Tszyu was dominant early on in the fight and won seven or eight of the completed rounds, though the official judges had the fight much closer. I haven’t followed Tszyu’s career closely as I lacked confidence in the abilities of the son of a great fighter. Typically, next generation fighters are not as good as the previous generation. While I expected Tszyu to do well or even win against Harrison and believed that he had earned his shot against Charlo, I was still skeptical.

Tszyu has a pretty good arsenal of skills. For an up-and-coming fighter, he has great poise and patience in the ring. He fights with calm confidence and sets up his punches very well he applied constant pressure to the skillful boxer Harrison and broke him down over the course of nine rounds. Tszyu’s punch variety was also very good, throwing straight punches, hooks, and uppercuts effectively and with power. Early on, Harrison was moving and jabbing and trying to use his experience and skills to gain an advantage, but Tszyu’s hand speed and punch accuracy kept him from really opening up. A right hand in the third round wobbled Harrison, and the fight never really got competitive after that. The only issues that Tszyu showed were leaks in his defense and some ignoring of the body. If I had to compare him to another fighter, there are some similarities to Gennady Golovkin. Obviously, Golovkin is a way more accomplished fighter, but I think their styles are similar.

Showtime also added another interesting wrinkle to the broadcast, and that was having champion Jermell Charlo on the commentary team. Charlo got to talk during the fight and make observations, which are credible given the fact that he’s on a collision course to face Tszyu and has shared the ring with Tony Harrison two times. After a dramatic and profanity Laden post fight interview with Tszyu, the showtime crew was fired up and discussed the thing on everybody else’s mind. Charlo was quick to boost himself by stating that he hits harder than Harrison, which will negate the success that Tszyu showed, and that Harrison is not the same fighter since Charlo knocked him out. Though it’s self-serving, I think there is a decent wrinkle of truth in the statement given Harrison’s subsequent performances since losing the rematch to Charlo by knockout.

That said, the Charlo versus Tszyu fight has gotten a lot more difficult to predict. Prior to Saturday night, the fight was still an interesting clash of styles, though Charlo had much more experience and could lean on his list of victories, the styles that he’s faced, and his power. Tim Tszyu just got himself a nice scalp proving his ability versus a world-class fighter and took the punches well, and lived up to the moment while solidifying himself as the leading contender at Junior middleweight This is a very interesting fight for several reasons. Brian Castano, with constant pressure, gave Charlo a very difficult night’s work in a controversial draw in their unification title fight. In many ways, Tszyu is going to bring similar problems for Charlo. Charlo is also going to be coming off a layoff and a hand injury, so there’s always the possibility of rust or even reinjury. My gut instinct tells me to favor Charlo, but it is not a pick I make with supreme confidence.

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