American Tony Harrison has said that the only reason opponent Tim Tszyu was in line to fight Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super-welterweight championship was because of his famous father.
Tszyu was scheduled to challenge Charlo in Las Vegas on January 28, until a broken hand suffered by the champion in training camp caused the clash to be postponed. In the interim, Tszyu turned to Harrison, who defeated Charlo on points to take his belts in December 2018 before losing them again a year later.
But when asked on Fox Sports Australia’s Main Event whether Tszyu deserved to be in the position to fight Charlo, Harrison was unequivocal: “Hell, nah. Why? What contender, what top 10 guy, did he fight to get there? Tim has beaten everyone they asked him to beat. But he hasn’t crossed the pond to fight guys like me, guys in America who really possess the talent to give him problems. Why is he up next for all the belts? C’mon man. That’s a last name thing.”
Tszyu’s father Kostya competed successfully at light-welterweight from 1992 to 2005, compiling a record of 31-2 with 25 KOs, winning the undisputed world title, and securing election to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010.
The younger Tszyu has a record of 21-0 with 15 KOs, and most recently overcame American veteran Terrell Gausha on points, although he had to recover from a first-round knockdown to do so. And Harrison did admit that he had to give his rival credit for that win.
“I was impressed," he said. "I’m more impressed that got off the ground in round one and took over. But the people that he beat, I could have torn my Achilles and beat those guys. He skipped the line. He skipped. You took the elevator. I had to climb. And I’m going to show you: there’s levels, brother.
Despite the tough talk, however, Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) commended Tszyu as a “true gentleman.”
“Come to Detroit, I’ll show you around," he said. "Come to America, we’ll link up. Right now, it’s strictly all about boxing. I’m gonna kick his ass, but afterward, I’m gonna like him. He’s a genuinely good guy."