Top super welterweight contender from Detroit wants rematch with unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd.
Tony Harrison sought to restore the ferocity that won the heart of late trainer Emanuel Steward, who used Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym to mold boxers such as Thomas Hearns into champions.
Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) looked the part against Ishe Smith on Friday—repeatedly hammering right hands against Smith’s badly swollen left eye, dropping the 39-year-old former 154-pound champion in the third round on the way to a 10-round split decision victory on a Bounce TV card at the Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.
“Emanuel was a mentor and I think he’d be proud of me,” Harrison said. “But he loved knockouts, so I think he would have [admonished] me between rounds for taking my foot off the gas pedal when I could have stopped Ishe Smith.”
Smith (29-10, 12 KOs), the first Las Vegas-born boxer to win a world championship, was making his sixth-straight hometown appearance.
“I came into Ishe’s back yard, took control and was more dominant against him than anybody else,” said Harrison, who won with scores of 97-92 and 96-93, which overruled a 95-94 score in favor of Smith. “I could have broken his shots up a little bit more, catching, rolling and shooting off of them better.
“ Emanuel was a mentor and I think he’d be proud of me. But he loved knockouts, so I think he would have [admonished] me between rounds for taking my foot off the gas pedal when I could have stopped Ishe Smith. ” 154-pound contender Tony Harrison
“I felt like I hurt him every time I hit him good, and that if I could have done a better job, I might have been more successful and perhaps stopped him. I showed that when I’m on, I possess power, speed, the ability to attack from angles, and that I’m the most dangerous guy with a more diverse ring IQ than anybody in the division.”
Harrison declared himself ready for a rematch with IBF and WBA champion Jarrett Hurd and any of the other 154-pound champions and top contenders.
Harrison had lost in similar fashion to Hurd and Willie Nelson. Each time he went down in ninth round from a smashing right hand to the jaw and rose on rubbery legs with the referee waving an end to the bout. Harrison won three straight after the Nelson loss before he faced Hurd. And since the loss to Hurd, Harrison has won another three in a row.
Hurd has since made successful defenses against Trout and Lara. Hurd could face Lara in a rematch, but Harrison would like another shot at Hurd, first.
“I have a great relationship with Hurd. I like his team, and we’ve kept in touch since we fought, but I wanna fight him again because I don’t think anybody’s done to him what I did to him over the first six rounds,” said Harrison.
“I showed the blueprint to how to beat Hurd, and against Ishe, I finished the job by basically controlling everything with a good jab. I respect all champions, but I wanna fight all of these guys.”
For a complete recap of Smith vs Harrison, check out our fight page.