Tony Harrison makes no assumptions about ring return against Bryant Perrella
On April 17, former super welterweight champion Tony “Super Bad” Harrison (28-3, 21 KO’s) will make his return to the ring. When he does, to face Bryant Perrella (17-3, 14 KO’s), it will snap a sixteen-month period of inactivity. Such an extended hiatus from the ring is bound to raise questions of ring rust. More often than not, when asked if they were worried about time away, the typical boxer would shrug it off.
Instead of co-signing, they will insist that whatever rust is present will be shaken off in the opening rounds. Harrison was not quite so cavalier. To his credit, Super Bad never suggested that he was worried about losing or not being able to perform on an elite level. At the same time however, while on the Last Stand Podcast, Harrison admitted that there was no way to predict how the prolonged time away would affect him.
“It’s hard to say. My mind would tell me no and my body will get in there and get hit with ten ounce gloves and haven’t been hit with ten ounce gloves in sixteen months and it react another kind of way.”
GHOSTS OF THE PAST
There is little doubt those sentiments will raise the eye brows of quite a few people. Technically speaking, Super Bad is being honest and is one hundred percent correct when admitting he cannot divine the future. Yet when approaching this from a psychological angle, there may be cause for concern. Some will hear those words to mean that the former WBC champion doubts himself and is unsure if he can take a punch. That is worrisome for Harrison supporters.
In his last fight, Super Bad lost an entertaining rematch to WBA Super, WBC and IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermell Charlo by way of knockout. In total, Harrison has lost three times in his professional career. Each and every one came by way of stoppage. Therefore to hear him openly talk about potentially having diminished punch resistance does not inspire confidence. That notion is further compounded when the Detroit native confesses to a long layoff contributing to the Charlo stoppage.
“I think it was kind of like the same way when I fought Charlo and I took that year off. He had a fight in between so things kinda move a little faster and it seemed like he was just a little bit stronger the second time than he was the first time. And not because he was probably physically stronger, it’s just the year off that I took from getting hit with ten ounce gloves and the speed of everything was a little bit faster than I could probably remember, just taking a year off.”
THE PUNCHERS CHANCE
Luckily for Harrison, on paper Bryant Perrella does not add up to a top tier opponent. He is 3-3 in his last six fights and lost two by knockout. When he stepped up to face Luis Collazo and Yordenis Ugas, Perrella was defeated by way of majority decision and knockout, respectively. Ironically, judging by his knockout percentage, he packs a bit of punch. The question now becomes can he place his paws on the ‘go to sleep’ button on the tip of Harrison’s chin? You are just going to have to tune in to find out. Yet, if Harrison does manage to lose or struggle in this comeback fight, it would be a very bad look for his career. Let’s see what happens.
By: Bakari Simpson