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Volatile Meeting in L.A. for WBC Titlist Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo

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  • Volatile Meeting in L.A. for WBC Titlist Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo

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    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-It’s apparent that WBC super welterweight titlist Tony Harrison and former champion Jermell Charlo abhor each other. During their face-off the two pressed noses together while exchanging taunts and dismissive words on Wednesday.

    Fortunately, they did not come to blows.

    Harrison (29-2, 21 KOs) makes his first defense of the WBC title on Sunday June 23, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) will be waiting like an angry lion whose steak has been pulled away. FOX will televise.

    The two super welterweights met at the Conga Room in Los Angeles on Wednesday and didn’t waste a second demonstrating their distaste of each other. Immediately the pair nosed up to each other while chirping inaudible taunts and dares. No pretense was needed.

    Hatred was written all over their faces.

    In response to their over-aggressiveness, the WBC issued a statement via social media that re-iterated a code of ethics will be in effect next January prohibiting this type of behavior during press conferences and weigh-ins.

    Last December 22, the two met in Brooklyn, New York that saw Harrison jump to an early lead, that was apparently missed by the TV announcers who seemed to have preconceived notions on who would win. What transpired was Harrison was more accurate for most of the fight. Then Charlo stepped on the gas to make it close. After 12 all three judges scored it for Harrison.

    The new WBC titlist had lost two previous times via knockout in the ninth round to Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson. He learned his lesson and applied it against Charlo with good results.

    But Charlo believes he won.

    “It was a robbery, but that just means I have the opportunity for redemption,” said Charlo during the media conference. “I feel like I'm the people's champ for fans all around the world. My popularity is still growing despite the robbery.”

    Harrison, wearing a black hat, waited patiently while listening to his adversary speak. And when his turn came he unleashed his own tirade.

    “I'm not a pretender. When I come out here and put my life out on the line and you put your life out on the line, respect me as a man,” said Harrison who is trained by his father Ali Salaam. “I'm going to earn it again on June 23.”

    Charlo jumped in Harrison’s conversation and the two bashed each other vocally.

    “This guy right here is a clown,” said Harrison. “That s**t don’t scare me.”

    When Charlo replied that it was a robbery Harrison quickly retorted “Three judges said you lost. We had three judges that did 100 title fights.”

    Harrison reiterated that Detroit guys don’t scare.

    Charlo, a native of Houston, Texas, said he’s coming hard.

    “I enjoyed my little time off. There’s going to be some things I do way better,” said Charlo who is trained by Derrick James. “I want better judges.”

    Harrison shot back “You got to man up! That’s what men do.”

    It was a contentious press conference with both fighters looking eager to leave in order to get back to business and train for warfare.

    “We promise nothing but fireworks,” said Brittany Goossen Brown of TGB Promotions.

    Leonard Ellerbee, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, agrees that their rematch will be volatile.

    “In Tony's case, coming in as the current champion, he knows he has got to be even better than he was the first time around to hold on to his title. He worked too hard and too long his entire life. He has the whole city of Detroit on his back and he is coming to defend what's his,” said Ellerbe. “In Jermell's case, he knows that it was a highly disputed loss and his mindset has been thinking of nothing else but Tony Harrison, day in and day out. I can imagine now and when he walks into that ring, he is going to be thinking about payback.”

    Both can end a fight with a single Sunday punch.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel