By Keith Idec
Jermell Charlo still can’t understand how he lost to Tony Harrison.
The former WBC super welterweight champion refuses to accept that Harrison’s slight advantage in jabs was enough to beat him December 22. The more Charlo has thought about his first professional defeat, the more the polarizing ex-champion is convinced that the three judges who scored Harrison the winner must have something personal against him.
Judges Julie Lederman (115-113), Ron McNair (115-113) and Robin Taylor (116-112) all scored their 12-round, 154-pound title fight for Harrison six months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Houston’s Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) and Detroit’s Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) were supposed to meet in an immediate rematch Sunday night at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Harrison withdrew from their second fight three weeks ago, though, due to an ankle injury that required surgery.
Charlo instead will meet Mexico’s Jorge Cota (28-3, 25 KOs) in a 12-round fight FOX will televise as the main event of a tripleheader set to start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
If the heavily favored Charlo beats Cota, his rematch with Harrison likely will be rescheduled for later this year. In the meantime, his loss to Harrison will eat at the 29-year-old Charlo until he has an opportunity to avenge it.
“I feel like I was winning the fight,” Charlo told several reporters Friday following a press conference at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. “Just getting hit with jabs is not gonna win you a fight. A jab is the starting punch of a combination. So, at the end of the day, it’s whatever. You know, if they feel like that’s what won the fight, that’s what they feel. I feel like politics are controlling a lot of things. And, you know, if they think that he won the fight, that’s because they didn’t like me outside of boxing. And I can understand why you wouldn’t like me. I mean, sh*t, I know a lot of people that don’t like me. But that’s because I don’t care that they don’t like me. So, that’s why I move forward with that.”
CompuBox credited Charlo with landing more overall punches than Harrison (160-to-128). Of those punches CompuBox counted, Charlo landed more power punches (108-to-71), but Harrison had the edge in jabs (57-to-52).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.