Tim Tszyu’s opponent Tony Harrison has likened the Aussie to someone he’d fight in a park ahead of their WBO interim super-welterweight world title bout on March 12.
The pair will square off in just under six weeks’ time after Harrison answered the call to face Tszyu following an injury to original opponent and undisputed champion Jermell Charlo.
Harrison, 32, is the only man to have defeated Charlo and believes a win over Tszyu will put him back in the box seat for a third fight with the injured champion after Charlo stopped him in their 2019 rematch.
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Speaking on Showtime Sport’s The Last Stand, Harrison told Brian Custer he didn’t think Tszyu had the tools to beat him.
“Tim is a very tough fighter, but he’s so basic to me, man,” Harrison said.
“He’s like somebody I see around the block, or like somebody I see at the park when I fight somebody at the park.
“Nothing’s special about him, his defence is not stellar, his offence ain’t stellar.
“He’s just tough, he’s a very tough competitor.
“The confidence I carry and attributes I have, I really don’t see myself losing to this guy, I don’t even see how this guy can beat me – he’s got like little arms and sh*t.”
Harrison, who hails from Detroit, has been relatively inactive compared with Tszyu, fighting just three times since the end of 2018.
The Sydneysider has had 10 fights in that time.
Harrison pointed to his own last fight, a one-sided decision win over Spaniard Sergio Garcia, as well as Tszyu’s, a points victory over Terrell Gausha in which he recovered from a first-round knockdown, as a possible clue to how the bout could play out.
“I think my last fight is just preparation for the same kind of guy I’m fighting,” Harrison said.
“I fought a guy in Sergio Garcia who does the exact same sh*t, you know what I mean?
“For me, it’s just like, why wouldn’t I take that fight?
“I just wiped out Sergio Garcia that fought [Sebastian] Fundora, that had a tough fight with Fundora and I wiped him out and I won every round.
“So why wouldn’t I take a fight like that? I’m fighting the exact same person.
“I think Terrell being older, being the kind of fighter he is, a shell kind of fighter, I just think it was lining up for Tim to be successful.
“Terrell never gave him any angles, never gave him any turns, because the guy comes straight forward. He’s one gear.
“When I look at him, he just goes, he just goes, he just goes, he just goes, he just goes. Nothing is set up, he’s just going.
“I just think Terrell would have gave more jabs, more feints, more angles… I just think with my length, my IQ, my skill, it’s me versus Sergio Garcia again.”
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Even Australian great and former WBO welterweight world champion Jeff Horn caught a stray as Harrison talked up his own chances.
“I got too much for Tim. Tim has never fought really nobody for real,” he added.
“Like like Jeff Horn. Who the f*** is Jeff Horn?
“The only guy he beat was Terrell Gausha and Terrell just don’t have the attributes that I have.”
Harrison also said one of his main sparring partners, undefeated American Charles Conwell is better than Tszyu
Conwell is ranked in the top five with three of boxing’s four governing bodies at 154-lbs.
“Charles is the exact version of Tim Tszyu,” Harrison said.
“Charles’ offensive bag is like double what Tim Tszyu gives, his defence is better.
“I just think I’m all the way prepared because I’ve been sparring Charles for three or four years now consistently. Every time I’ve got an orthodox [opponent], I’m sparring him.”
Harrison’s fight with Tszyu will be his first outside the US in over a decade.
Despite heading into enemy territory, Harrison says he’s ready to embrace the challenge, drawing parallels with Rocky IV in the process.
“Rocky Balboa versus [Ivan] Drago. This is literally like my moment, like this is my moment to have that same kind of fight in real life instead of a movie,” Harrison said.
“I am a superstar. I wouldn’t even want to fight him here.
“Like I want that ‘boo’ when I walk out, I want the like, ‘You f***ing suck.’ I want that. I love that.
“Like, okay, you’re right. I’m about to show you all who suck more than me then.
“The environment, the hostility for this fight, man, I know I’m going to a fight knowing that the whole country is rooting for me to lose and if that don’t excite you, I’m like, what does?”