Harrison lobs in Sydney for world-title bout with Tszyu

February 28, 2023 07:59 AM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Tony Harrison has arrived for his world-title fight with Tim Tszyu bleary-eyed and defending his limited 12-day build-up for the biggest boxing bout in Sydney in years.

Harrison and Tszyu will joust on March 12 for the interim WBO super-welterweight belt, with the winner to face Jermell Charlo later this year for undisputed divisional honours.

Tszyu spent nine weeks in the US preparing for his scheduled showdown with Charlo on January 29 before the blockbuster was cancelled at Christmas after the champion broke two bones in his left hand in training.

Harrison (29-3-1, 21KO) is the only man to have beaten Charlo (35-1-1, 19KO) and says he does not need any longer to acclimatise and prepare for Tszyu (21-0, 15KO).

"All I need is a ring. I don't need time. I just need a ring," the 32-year-old from Detroit said on Tuesday.

But he may need some sleep ahead of his hit-and-run mission after conceding he was not expecting such a brutal flight.

"It was tough, man. It was a tough flight. We had to pull over, catch a camel, catch a go-kart, get on a bike," Harrison said.

"No one expected me to be here, but I'm here.

"Never (been to Australia before) and I probably won't be back. That flight is way too long." 

Despite his exhaustion, Harrison promised to be in tip-top shape for Tszyu come fight time at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena.

"I feel amazing. Tim caught me at the right time - wrong time for him, right time for me," he said.

"For Tim, he knows I'm a step too far."

While Harrison said he was "looking for the hostility" from Australian fans hoping for the 29-year-old Sydneysider to emulate his father Kostya and become a world champion, the flash American believes he will only receive love and support.

"Listen to me - if they love Tim, they're going to love me," Harrison said.

"I am the total opposite to Tim. I'm vibrant. I've got a lot of humility. If they like him, they're going to love me."

Despite previously dismissing Tszyu as little more than a "park fighter", beneath the front Harrison is not underestimating his undefeated opponent.

"I'm not overlooking Tim. I talk my s**t but Tim's a tough competitor so I'm looking forward to a rough and tough fight," he said.

"I'm looking forward to 12 good rounds - or shorter - but I've trained for the long haul.

"I know I've got a tough competitor in front of me who's fighting in front of his fans and family and the crowd.

"A step at a time for me but come March 12 you're all in for a rude awakening."


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