WBC boxer Tony Harrison poses for the cameras while attending a Detroit Pistons vs Atlanta Hawks basketball game at Little Caesars Arena. (Photo by Montez Miller/Tell Us Detroit)






Tony Harrison celebrates after defeating Jermell Charlo in a WBC super welterweight championship boxing match Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  An interview with Tony Harrison prior to his championship bout against Jermell Charlo

Micah K
Tell Us Detroit Sports

DETROIT - Boxing is a sport that causes so many emotions and requires a level of strength, courage, and resilience only a selective few possess. Three days before Christmas the boxing community will be tuned in Saturday night, December 22, to see if Tony Harrison can shock the world and beat undefeated Junior Middleweight Champion Jermell Charlo.

Harrison is more than a boxer, heís a father first. Harrison is a Detroit native who is always looking to help the youth and bring positivity to his community.

Question: Why is it so important for you to have that connection with the youth?

Answer: For me its just about building that next bridge and just trying to help others make great connections. Basically, so their road wonít have to be as hard as mines was in the beginning. Also so they wonít have to fight the kind of fights I was fighting and sacrifice the way I had too. Boxing is such a small world, I just want more opportunities for the kids now coming up. I know those big guys like James Prince and Lou DiBella and I was able to network with certain promoters and managers to help my career grow. I can take what Iíve learned and share it with the youth so they can succeed. Boxing is a lot about who you know, thats mainly most sports.

Q: Boxing is a life or death situation, what keeps you motivated to have a positive mind set after a loss?

A: Iím just a competitor in itself, for me I feel like I can beat anybody they put in front of me. I feel 95 percent of my fights I start off good, for me its just trying to find ways to make myself better and to maximize on the mistakes Iíve made. The reason I keep pushing and getting up is because I want to perfect my craft. Another reason is now I have kids to look after, this is not just a sport to me anymore, this is my means to feed my son and daughter.

Q: Ok the big fight is coming up. What do you feel is your biggest challenge for this fight facing Jermell Charlo?

A: I believe I just need to stay mentally focused from the first to the twelfth round. Charlo canít do anything that I havenít already seen from a fighter this far. Iíve trained with the best of them. I just need to stick to the game plan.

Q:In a recent interview, you said this fight gives you goosebumps, why and what was your motivation behind taking this fight?

A: Iím one of the guys that wants to go against the guy they say you canít beat. Thatís all the motivation I needed to take the fight. Iíve always related everything to college sports like the big dog on campus. Prime example, when you go to high school, whether youíre a freshmen or senior you see the guy making all the noise and you see everybody intimated of, thatís the guy I want to fight. It just gave me goosebumps to finally get super motivated to fight somebody. I know with this fight itís a great opportunity. I just had to turnt up and I immediately said yes to the fight.

Q: What are some things you do that give you a peace of mind to help you stay focus?

A: Going into this I fight I did things a little differently. As much as I love my kids I took another household where nobody is there, so itís just me by myself. So now Iím able to sleep better and stay locked in not only physically but mentally as much as possible. The quiet times are a little better and when Iím training for the fight, I literally just donít want to be around anybody.

Q: Do you think your skill and speed will matchup with Jermell Charloís punching power?

A: I think people overestimate his punching power to be honest, thatís my personal opinion. I think Charlo had good pickings with certain fights for his style. He just fought Austin Trout and didnít stop Trout, who is older now. I do think he got a little snap on his punches. As far as one punch power Iím not really worried, I think heíll have to make the adjustments before I do.

Q: Can you elaborate a little on a tweet you retweeted from Twitter about how fans talk about boxers?

A: I just think its easy for us to look at a game on television about boxing, basketball, and football and have opinions and be bias. As fans you say damn I couldíve made that play. But not knowing at a professional level these guys are putting their hearts into the sport. The athletes train all year around for that one big moment and sometimes it doesnít go like they expect. As a professional athlete, thereís always people talking sh## that havenít even had the same work ethic as me or other professional athletes. People think itís so easy and they find time to just tweet crazy things. The truth is, what Iím doing and what others are doing at the professional level isnít easy at all. I think you need to respect that man or woman because win, lose, or draw theyíre doing something most people wouldnít do.

Q: On a lighter note, what type of music will you play walking into the ring?

A: It will definitely be Detroit music. I try to keep everything Detroit, thatís our time to shine so Iíll keep it like that





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