Tony Harrison Looks To Rebound After Pandemic and Family Loss

Former WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison will enter the ring on Saturday after a long layoff.

 

He faces hard-hitting southpaw Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella in the super welterweight main event of FOX PBC Fight Night from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

 

”We’re looking forward to something exciting Saturday. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m looking to provide a strong and emphatic finish.

 

“I wouldn’t have picked Perrella for my fight to come back. I would have picked someone with more to lose, but to his credit, he’s coming up to an unfamiliar weight class to take me on. He’s going to be a great challenge and I appreciate him stepping up to the task. It shows the confidence he has in himself and in his training.

 The pride of Detroit, Michigan, Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) spent his early boxing career under the tutelage of the late Emanuel Steward in the legendary Kronk Gym. As a professional, the 31-year-old was still considered one of the most skilled fighters in the sport despite coming up short in his first two attempts at a world title.

However, during the pandemic, Harrison lost his father and trainer in Ali Salaam.

 “My brother LJ has always been in my corner, it’s just taken my father’s passing for him to become the leader in my corner. He was a great basketball player and I think that’s played a big part in how he views a fight. He was a point guard, so he had to see the whole floor. He can see so much of what I need to do in order to be successful on fight night.

 “My father taught me how to fight, so what I needed in a new trainer is someone who gives me an energetic boost. My brother is someone who knows how to reach me when the time comes where I need to be reached. I couldn’t find that from someone who was just getting to know me. I had to find someone who already knew me.

 “When it comes to fighting, I know how to keep my emotions intact, because I’ve been doing it my whole life. It’s something I just go in there and do. I got my ass kicked in my first couple sparring sessions of this camp, or I felt like it at least, because I was coming off of 16 months off.

My body had to get re-accustomed to what I had been going through my whole life previously. I used that struggle as motivation. It showed me what I had to do in order to be victorious in this fight. Now I’m the one busting other people up. I came a long way from the beginning of camp.”

 The third time was the charm for Harrison, who shocked the boxing world in December 2018 by outpointing long-time champion Jermell Charlo to earn the WBC title in Brooklyn on FOX. Their rematch one year later ranks among the best fights of 2019. Harrison and Charlo fought mano-a-mano until Charlo stopped him in the eleventh round to regain the belt.

 

“Everyone knows I would love a third fight against Jermell Charlo. He’s a guy who I know I can beat. But I’m not going to take the spotlight away from Perrella. That’s the guy who’s in front of me. If I don’t take care of this first step, I don’t get the Charlo fight. Perrella is coming to win and he’s just as motivated as me.

 

“I’m going to go out there and look exciting. Both of us are heavy hitters and we’re both coming in with new trainers. Whoever executes their plan the best will be successful in this fight.

 

“The 154-pound weight class is the best division in boxing. You can match up anyone one through ten in the rankings and get a great fight every time out. What makes it the best is that we continue to fight each other time and time again. All of these fights people want are going to happen. We’re going to keep competing no matter who wins or loses.

 

“Ring rust is always a factor, but I think he’s going to have it too. It’ll take a couple of rounds, but I’ve been doing this so long I don’t expect it to take much more. Once I get used to it, I’m going to be comfortable. If I touch him up in round one or two, then this fight is not going to last very long.

 

“The king is back. I see nothing less for myself than the standard I set, which is getting the knockout. It’s either going to be a knockout, referee stoppage or Roy Jones Jr. throwing in the towel. It’s going to be electric on both sides as long as it lasts. My opponent is no pushover, but this fight is going to end with me knocking Perrella out.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.