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Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo get heated ahead of rematch

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC junior middleweight champion Tony ‘Superbad’ Harrison 28-2 (21) and former champion Jermell Charlo 32-1 (16) have continued their war of words in the lead up to their rematch at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California on December 21.

“There’s not a drop of love in my heart for him,” Harrison said on PBC Face to Face. “There’s a lot of animosity and there’s only one way to settle it. That’s fighting. I’m the most dangerous guy in the division. I’m 6’1, super-fast, strong and I have all the attributes of a guy no one wants to fight.”

“He’s a fraud,” said Charlo. “He manipulated the system and he isn’t the real champ like I am. I’m the real champion and it will take me going in there and showing why I am the champ. I get to do that on December 21.”

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Charlo, 29, lost the WBC belt to Harrison by close decision in December last year in a fight many people thought he deserved to win.

The rematch was originally set to take place in June, before Harrison was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an ankle injury.

“He wasn’t really injured, we’re all boxers and we all go through things,” said Charlo. “It’s a wear and tear sport. It puts a lot on our mind and on our bodies. If you don’t do it the right way, it’s going to tear you down. Maybe he used the smallest excuse and used it to get him out of the fight. There’s no easy routes in this thing. When you’re at the top, you have to fight.”

“For me, everything happens for a reason,” said Harrison, 29. “Whatever the reason was, I just answered back and said I’ll do better and make the turnaround from it. I never questioned it. I knew my heart wanted to go and keep fighting. It told me to go beat him, because he’s not what he says he is. But my brother and my dad told me that if you’re not 100 percent, no one will want to hear the excuses If you let him beat you.”

Harrison insists he is winning the psychological battle against Charlo.

“This is going to be easy because I’m already in his head,” said Harrison. “I think he’s trying to figure out what he has to do different to beat me. I’ve got the mental battle won. I have him all riled up, now it’s just about capitalizing.

“I’m living rent-free in that head,” added Harrison. “He’s mentally weak. Period. He’s emotional. He fears me and he fears everything about me. He knows I’m a threat. He likes the way I walk. He likes everything about me. He likes the way I talk what I talk.”

“This energy he’s portraying isn’t really him,” said Charlo. “I know something about you. They made you up to be this clown. You have a different animal in front of you now. This won’t be the same Jermell Charlo on December 21. The good thing is, I get a chance to show you and everyone that night.

“I’m a passionate person. I’m a winner. When they took that one from me, of course, a passionate person is going to have a different reaction than he would have had. I found out where your heart was. I’ve been able to make more investment into myself to destroy you ever since then.”

“I don’t like ‘phony’ Harrison. It’s easy to explain why the rematch will be different. I’m knocking him out. I can’t let them judges make any decisions. That’s what I need. He’s going to sleep. Cold.”

“I’m a better athlete than Jermell Charlo and I will beat this man at anything we do,” said Harrison. “I know in my heart I would never lose to a sucker and he’s a sucker. As long as he’s walking this earth, there’s nothing he can do to beat me. I’m going to dominate this man. I just want to beat him 12 rounds like he stole something.”

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