Newly crowned WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) faces Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) on Showtime this weekend, and who better to speak on the new champion than Tony Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs) who shared the ring with the Australian earlier this year. Harrison also shared the ring with unified junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs), who Tszyu has been chasing down for a fight for the last 18 months.
Harrison is more of a trainer these days and works with undisputed super featherweight champion Alycia Baumgardner (15-1, 7 KOs). Harrison spoke to ProBoxTV about Tszyu and some of the challenges Mendoza faces on Showtime this weekend.
It’s one thing to look at a fight and say what you would and wouldn’t do, but another thing is being in the ring with that fighter and seeing for yourself. Harrison got a lesson in that back in March when he fought Tszyu. “Going into the fight, I was like so confident, like this guy is so basic. My whole training camp was based on power. It was based on me fighting guys who had snappy punches and threw a lot of punches. But when I got in there and got stuck in the mud, I went back to the corner in round one and said, ‘hell, he’s not even strong.’ What we underestimated is that he’s very reactive and kinda fast. His punches come out very fast,” said the 33-year-old Harrison.
Overall, Harrison feels Tszyu “… is good, and there’s no hatin.” That’s a mature answer coming from the former WBC junior middleweight champion, as most fighters would be hesitant to give that type of credit to another fighter publicly. Although Harrison acknowledges how good Tszyu is as a fighter, he disagrees with how he was upgraded to a full champion after Charlo faced Canelo Alvarez. “I hate this sport when they just give away sh*t (making fighters into full champions without earning it). I know he really worked his way up, but just don’t give him the title. Make us earn this sh*t."
Regardless of how he became a full champion, Tszyu has his hands full on Saturday night against Mendoza. Harrison has a tip for Mendoza, who has the task of facing Tszyu in Australia on Showtime. “If Brian Mendoza is hearing this, spar guys that are faster. Don’t spar guys that are stronger, as the power is in his speed. The power is in the shots that you don’t see.”
Tszyu versus Mendoza will stream this weekend live on Showtime. ProBoxTV has all the info you need to get ready for the fight and the latest betting odds.